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Full text of "Dutch painting in the nineteenth century"

REESE LIBRARY 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 



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DUTCH PAINTING IN THE 
NINETEENTH CENTURY 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/dutchpaintinginnOOmaririch 



OFTHe > 

UNIVERStTY 



DUTCH PAINTING IN THE 
NINETEENTH CENTURY 

BY G. HERMINE MARIUS TRANSLATED 
BY ALEXANDER TEIXEIRA DE MATTOS 



WITH A PHOTOGRAVURE AND 
130 REPRODUCTIONS IN HALF-TONE 



LIB^ 
THE r 

( UNIVERSITY 
oi-- 



LONDON — ALEXANDER MORING LIMITED (THE DE LA MORE 
PRESS) 32 GEORGE STREET, HANOVER SQUARE, W. - 1908 






i^BBSE 



CONTENTS 

Chap. Page 

I. Introductory ' i 

II. The History-painters lo 

III. The Romanticists 2"] 

IV. The Landscape and Genre Painters 46 

V. The Forerunners of the Hague School 58 

VI. The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 72 

VII. The Hague School: Introduction 82 

VIII. Intermezzo 125 

IX. The Hague School: Sequel 133 

X. The Younger Masters of the Hague School . . . .151 

XI. The Reaction of the Younger Painters of Amsterdam 169 

XII. The New Formula 184 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Matthys Maris . 

RiENK JeLGERHUIS 
TiSCHBEIN . . 

Hodges . . . 

J. W. PlENEMAN 



N. PlENEMAN 



Daiwaille . . 

CORNELIS KrUSEMAN. 



J. A. Kruseman 

n 

Ary Scheffer 



Cool . . . 
Schmidt . . 
Spoel . . . 
Van de Laar 
De Bloeme . 



Souvenir of Amsterdam Frontispiece 

To face page 

A Family Group 4 

Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia . . 5 

Mrs. Fraser 7 

Mrs. Ziesenis — Wattier 10 

The Battle of Waterloo 11 

Portrait of an old Lady 12 

Mrs. Leembruggen 13 

The Surrender of Diepo Negoro . . 14 

Portrait of a Child 15 

H. van Demmeltraadt 16 

Christ with Martha and Mary . . 18 

The Three Sisters 20 

Ada of Holland 22 

Mr. A. Dieudonne' van Baerle . . 24 

Reynolds the Engraver 28 

Christ on the Mount of Olives. . . 30 

Count Eherhard of Wurtemberg . . 31 

The Weather- Glass 32 

Emilia of Nassau 34 

The Procession of the Rhetoricians . . 36 

The Divorce 38 

Miss Huyser 40 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Matthys Maris . 

RiENK JeLGERHUIS 
TiSCHBEIN . . 

Hodges . . . 

J. W. PlENEMAN 



N. PlENEMAN . 



Daiwaille . . 

CORNELIS KrUSEMAN. 



J. A. Kruseman 
Ary Scheffer 



Cool . . . 
Schmidt . . 
Spoel . . . 
Van de Laar 
De Bloeme . 



Souvenir of Amsterdam Frontispiece 

Tofacepage 

A Family Group 4 

Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia . . 5 

Mrs. Fraser 7 

Mrs. Ziesenis — Wattier 10 

The Battle of Waterloo ii 

Portrait of an old Lady 12 

Mts. Leembruggen 13 

The Surrender of Diepo Negoro . . 14 

Portrait of a Child 15 

H. van Demmeltraadt 16 

Christ with Martha and Mary . . 18 

The Three Sisters 20 

Ada of Holland 22 

Mr. A. Dieudonne' van Baerle . . 24 

Reynolds the Engraver 28 

Christ on the Mount of Olives. . . 30 

Count Eherhard of Wurtemberg . . 31 

The Weather- Glass 32 

Emilia of Nassau 34 

The Procession of the Rhetoricians . . 36 

TTie Divorce 38 

Miss Huyser 40 



viii List of Illustrations 

To face page 

De Bloeme Baron van Omphal .... 42 

J. G. SCHWARTZE .... Portrait of Himself. .... 44 

Van der Laen Landscape 48 

KoBELL Landscape in Gelderland. . . 50 

Van Troostwijk .... Landscape in Gelderland. . . 52 

Westenberg View in Amsterdam .... 54 

Bauer Still Water 55 

Johannes Jelgerhuis . . The Laboratory 56 

Hendriks Notary Kohne and his Clerk . 57 

De Lelie Woman making Cakes ... 58 

Van de Sande Bakhuijzen. Landscape in Holland ... 60 

SCHOTEL Rough Water 61 

Meijer A Rough Sea 62 

SCHELFHOUT Landscape 63 

NUYEN The Old Mill 64 

B. J. VAN Hove . . . . A Church 65 

Hubert W. van Hove . . The Knitter 66 

Greive The Return from the Herring- 
fishery 68 

KOEKKOEK A Forest View 69 

J. W. Bilders Wolfhezen Heath 70 

The Little Lake 71 

Bles Figure of a Woman . . . . yz 

The Ninth Day 74 

Barker Korf The Ballad 76 

Allebe Compulsory Intercourse . . . 78 

The Well-Guarded Child . . 80 

Jan Weissenbruch . . . Inner Yard of the Town Hall 

at Kuilenhurg 82 

Hanedoes Landscape in Kennemerland. . 83 

A. C. Bilders Landscape 84 

Bosboom ....... Interior of a Church .... 90 

„ The Treshing- Floor 92 



List of Illustrations ix 

To face page 

JozEF Israels Portrait of Himself ... 94 

„ , The woman at the window. 96 

„ „ When a Body grows old . 98 

„ „ Children of the Sea . . . 100 

„ „ The Sexton and his Wife. lOi 

RoELOFS After the Rain . . . .102 

Jacob Maris View of a Village . . .104 

„ „ The Shell- Gatherers . . .105 

„ „ A little Girl at the Piano. 106 

„ „ The Cradle 107 

, The Bird Cage .... 108 

Matthijs Maris Portrait of a child . . .109 

„ „ The Four Windmills. . .110 

„ „ Siska Ill 

„ „ In the Slums 112 

WiLLEM Maris The White Cow . . . .113 

„ „ Luxurious Summer . . .114 

„ „ Ducks in their Element. . 115 

Mauve Ploughing 116 

„ Horses drinking . . . .117 

„ Winter 118 

Verschuur Stormy Weather . . . .118 

Ter Meulen A Sheepfold in Drenthe . 119 

H. W. Mesdag Night at Scheveningen . .120 

„ A Beach in Winter. . . 121 

„ Fishing-smacks returning to 

Scheveningen 122 

H. J. Weissenbruch .... Landscape 123 

Gabriel View near Ahcoude . . .124 

JoNGKiND View of Overschie . . .126 

Oyens After the Day's Work . .128 

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Willem van Saeftinghen . 130 

Neuhuys The First Lesson. . . .133 



X List of Illustrations 

To face page 

Blommers Mother's Joy 134 

Artz Mourning 135 

BisscHOP The Cup 136 

„ Winter in Friesland . . .137 

RoCHUSSEN A Fish- Cart with Dogs resting 138 

JJ.vandeSandeBakhuijzen. View in the Hague . . .139 

De Haas Early Morning 140 

Nakken Pack-horses 141 

Sadee Gleaning 142 

HenriEtte Ronner-Knip . . Among Ourselves .... 142 

SiNA Mesdag-van Houten . In Twikkel Wood .... 142 

Maria Vos Still Life 143 

De Bock On the Heelsum Road . . 144 

Apol A January Day 144 

Klinkenberg The Hofje van Dam . . .145 

Van Rossum Duchattel . . Winter Landscape . , . .146 

Poggenbeek By the Pool 146 

Bastert Oudaen Castle 147 

Therese Schwartze. . . . The Baroness Michiels van 

Verduijnen 148 

JOSSELIN DE Jong Jonkheer Victor de Stuers. . 149 

„ . "T . . . The Melting House . . .150 

Breitner Portrait of Himself. . . .152 

The White Horse .... 153 

„ Winter in Amsterdam. . .154 

SuzE BisscHOP-RoBERTSON. . Gifl Besting 155 

IsaAc Israels On the Beach 156 

Tholen A Butcher's Shop . . . .158 

De Zwart Girl Reading 160 

Van der Maarel .... Little Sis 162 

Verster Flowers 164 

Bauer At the Well 166 

„ The Kremlin 168 



Veth .... 

» .... 

Haver MAN . . 

Derkinderen . 

Van Looy . . 
Voerman . . 
Karsen . . . 

WiLLEM WiTSEN 
TOOROP . . . 

Van Gogh . . 
Van der Valk 



List of Illustrations xi 

To face page 

. F. Lebret 170 

. Professor A. D. Lohman 172 

. /. H. Krelage 174 

. TTie Knitting-Lesson . 175 

. The Postern Gate 176 

. Duke Henry of Brabant . . . . . .177 

. Portrait of Himself 178 

. On the River. 179 

. Enkhuizen 180 

. Winter 182 

. Elsje 184 

. The Wave 185 

. The Potato-eaters 186 

. Bridge at Aries 188 

. The Cypresses 190 

. A Willow Tree 196 




CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

The seventeenth century bequeathed to the eight- 
eenth three painters all of whom — and two in particular 
— heralded the spirit of the new age in matters of con- 
ception, colour and execution. The greatest of the three, 
Jacob de Wit, who was called the Rubens of his 
time, is esteemed as an historical painter — he executed 
a part of the Orange Room at the House in the 
Wood — and is world-famous for his painted bas-reliefs, 
the so-called witjgSy in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam 
and elsewhere. These not only excel as extraordinary 
imitations of marble, to which De Wit owes his 
popularity, but the natural attitudes and grouping 
of the cherubs prove him to be, without a doubt, 
the greatest Dutch decorative artist of the eighteenth 
century. The second was Jan M. Quinckhard, who, 
as Van der Willigen says, " was a very good, yes, 
we venture to say, in many respects an excellent 
portrait- painter ; he was particularly fortunate in his 
likenesses, his drawing was accurate, his brushwork 
good and his colouring soft and delicate. " He, like 
De Wit, belongs entirely to the eighteenth century 



2 Introductory 

in ideas and his work did little to contribute towards 
the transition of the painted portrait from the seven- 
teenth century to the nineteenth. The same may 
be said of the third painter, Cornelis Troost, who, 
in spite of certain drawings that remind us of the 
seventeenth century and, in particular, of the somewhat 
artificial elegance of Nicolaas Maes, was essentially a 
man of his time. All his work in various mediums 
is too strongly imbued with the eighteenth-century 
spirit to permit us to regard him as a result or con- 
sequence of the previous century. Not that he can 
have troubled much about the matter, for abundant 
fame was his portion, so much so that he was known, 
in his day, as the Dutch Hogarth, a comparison 
which, like most of its kind, contained but a minimum 
of truth. 

If, nevertheless, we insist upon considering these 
three painters as offshoots of our great century, 
then we must needs add that they were the last 
effort of an exhausted soil. The art of painting declined 
into the art of decoration or scene-painting, the pain- 
ter's workshop was transformed into the tapestry- 
factory. The minute, concentrated charm of our 
so-called little masters expanded itself into painted 
hangings; the stately portraits of the time degenerated, 
with few exceptions, into the pale, powdered pastels 
that seemed deliberately designed for the representation 
of the caricatural periwig. 

Still, if only for the reason that the eighteenth cen- 
tury contains the predecessors or, at any rate, the 
teachers of the painters of the nineteenth century, 
it is well worth while to consider these decoration- 
painters from another point of view than that of 



Introductory 3 

the applied art which owed its prosperity to the 
luxury of the merchant-princes of Amsterdam, Rot- 
terdam, Dordrecht and Middelburg. For not only 
had the best of these decoration-painters learnt their 
art as real painters and merely altered the character 
of their productions in obedience to the whims of 
the day: most of them did paint or draw land- 
scapes or portraits and prove that they had it in 
their power to satisfy a demand for real painting, 
should it ever arise. For instance, in the Fodor 
Museum in Amsterdam, certain drawings by the 
tapestry-painter and manufacturer, Jacob Cats, display 
a strength, an old- Dutch quality, an originality which 
we should hardly have expected to find in those 
days. This Jacob Cats was born in 1 74 1 at Altona 
and came with his parents, at an early age, to 
Amsterdam, where he achieved considerable success 
with both his hangings and drawings ; and, although 
the tapestries are no longer easy to find, his drawings 
go to show that he lacked the affectation, if not the 
prolixity, that clung to many of those painters, 
especially towards the end of the century. They 
are very pleasantly executed, were greatly esteemed 
in their day and still fetch good prices under the 
hammer. Cats died 1799. 

Another tapestry-painter of note is Hendrik Meijer, 
born in Amsterdam in 1737, who also drew land- 
scapes in body-colour, sap-colour and Indian ink. 

His Scheveningen Beach, a picture that formed 
part of the Des Tom be collection at the Hague, 
is said to have been his master-piece and to be pref- 
erable in many respects to a sea-piece by Schotel. 



4 Introductory 

From our point of view, however, this painter's chief 
claim to importance lies in the fact that he was 
the teacher of various nineteenth-century artists. He 
died in London in 1793. 

Aart Schouman, an eighteenth-century painter 
living at Dordrecht, preserved the seventeenth-century 
traditions more intrinsically, in so far as externals were 
concerned, and continued to paint corporation-pieces, 
which, if they cannot be reckoned among the finest 
of their kind, are at least able to hold their own. 
The fact is that many of these painters retained the 
arrangement of the old masters and copied them so 
industriously, often in water-colour or pastel, that they 
ended by making their style their own and frequently 
lapsed into contenting themselves with the production 
of but slightly altered copies. It is even said that 
Boymans, the famous collector, was induced to buy 
an interior by Laqui, one of those painters, under 
the impression that he was purchasing a Gerard Dou. 
We may take it, then, that these painters were still 
connected by a fine thread with the landscape-painters 
of the seventeenth century. On the other hand, so 
great were the demands of decoration-painting upon 
their strength and energy, that they had sunk remark- 
ably low in the matter of portrait-painting. And yet 
portraits were asked for not only by the princes 
and the aristocracy, but also by the well-to-do mid- 
dle class. The tapestry-painters produced a number 
of small family-portraits, mostly naive and weak, 
although occasionally distinguished by a certain deli- 
cacy of conception. In addition to Adriaan de Lelie, 
Jean Auguste Daiwaille and others, part of whose 



'''^'^ OFTHt > 

^' 'JNIVERSIT 




H.R.H. PRINCESS WILHELMIXA OF PRUSSIA, CONSORT OF WILLIAM V. 
STADTHOLDER OF THE NETHERLANDS — J. F. A, TISCHBEIN 

{Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) 



Introductory 5 

work comes within the nineteenth century, and a few 
miniature-painters, of whom Temminck was one of 
the foremost, portraits were executed, for the 
greater part, by travelling portrait-painters, including 
Rienk Jelgerhuis, who has no fewer than 7,763 stand- 
ing to his credit. Or, again, people would sit for 
their portraits in the course of the endless journeys 
which it was at that time their custom to take. 
This applied especially to miniatures, which were 
painted, so as to be easily portable, in lockets, on 
watch-keys, rings or snuff-boxes. And, although these 
were affected by the general decline, they sometimes 
displayed a daintiness of draughtsmanship, a softness 
of colouring and, above all, a certain "distinction" to 
which few of the larger portraits of the time can lay claim. 
The French painters who frequented the luxurious 
Courts of the Bourbons or who followed in the 
wake of Napoleon and had more orders within the 
limits of the empire than they were able to execute 
were much too busy to visit less favoured countries 
on the chance of picking up commissions for portraits. 
The case was the same with the great English 
painters; so that this branch of industrial art was 
reserved, for the most part, for the Germans. Their 
portraits were stiff and expressionless. The grouping 
of the small family-portraits, usually in pastel, sug- 
gested the traditional semi-circle in which Moli^re is 
played at the Th6^tre Fran^ais. They seemed, how- 
ever, to give pleasure to the purchasers; and, 
to tell the truth, on looking into these unpretentious 
little family-groups, we find that they present a more 
general family-resemblance and are more lifelike than 
most of the photographic portraits of thirty years ago. 



6 Introductory 

The two principal portrait-painters who came from 
foreign countries at the end of the eighteenth century 
were Tischbein and Hodges. Johann Friedrich 
August Tischbein, although born at Maastricht in 
1750, belonged entirely to the German school. He 
was one of the few younger men who escaped the 
prevailing classicism of his time. His preference 
for portrait-painting drove him to foreign Courts; 
and for fourteen years he painted at the Hague, at 
the Court of the Stadtholder and his family. He 
was a competent and pleasant painter, who reproduced 
the powdered wigs and the features of his sitters 
in a refined manner. His portraits of women are of 
value for our time; and the many pictures which 
he painted of Wilhelmina of Prussia, the consort of 
William V., with her powdered hair, vivacious features 
and the fine colouring of the green dresses, in which 
he excelled, are in good taste on the whole. 

He was famed for the naturalness of his ideas, 
but, as times were, was unable to exercise any 
influence upon the nineteenth century. The eighteenth 
century, with its sensibility, its gallantry, its powder, 
patches and pastels, had retreated before the 
harshness of the heroic emotions, decked in classic 
garb, with which David opened the nineteenth. 
Tischbein died in 1812. 

The other, Charles Howard Hodges (1764 — 1837), 
was a painter of greater importance, a man of excellent 
gifts, whose portraits strike one at once by their 
elegance, their bright colouring and their supple, 
if somewhat weak workmanship. Kramm, in his 
Lives and Works of the Dutch and Flemish Painters^ 



II UNIVERSITY 




MRS. FRASER — C. H. HODGES 
(Rijksmuseiim, Amsterdam) 



Introductory 7 

praises him for the subtle manner in which he flat- 
tered his sitters. To us he is the portrait-painter of 
the Empire period; and, although, at a later date, 
he painted King William L, he also gave us the 
portraits of Grand pensionary Schimmelpenninck and 
of Mrs. Ziesenis-Wattier, the famous actress of the 
time. If he is not to be compared with the great 
English portrait- painters of the eighteenth century, 
the fact remains that he possessed something of 
their taste and especially something of the supple 
method, the easy, fluent modelling that so greatly 
distinguished Sir Thomas Lawrence. Hodges was a 
member of the commission which, after the restora- 
tion of Dutch independence, brought back from 
Paris the paintings that had been taken from us by 
the French. 

It must needs arouse surprise that this portrait- 
painter did not become the head of a school in his 
day. True, his talent was distinguished rather than 
powerful ; but, indeed, the polish and refinement of his 
work are not be despised, especially when we consider 
at what a low ebb our fortunes then were. His 
chief pupil was Cornelis Kruseman, who failed to 
acquire or, at least, to retain his bright colouring, 
his supple and natural draughtsmanship or his 
qualities of distinction . Nevertheless, Hodges may have 
exercised an indirect influence upon his contempo- 
raries. For instance, we find in Pieneman's Battle 
of Waterloo a cast of features which seems related to 
those which Hodges portrayed. On the other hand, 
this may be simply the English type ; for Pieneman 
painted portraits for this picture in England. Per- 
haps J. A. Kruseman, Cornelis Kruseman 's kinsman 



8 Introductory 

and pupil, preserved more of Hodges* characteristics 
than any one else. 

England, the land of the poets, was at that time 
rejoicing in a school of painting which, although 
mainly based upon the old Dutchmen and Italians, 
had recently, under Reynolds and Gainsborough, 
developed into a purely English school. Followed 
the passionate figure of the poet-painter William 
Blake, who stood at the entrance to a new century 
in which Constable and Turner wrought their 
artistic revolution. Germany had found in Beethoven 
the loftiest expression of her period of musical creation, 
an expression which was so brilliantly to influence 
the whole of the musical and also of the pictorial life 
of the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Ger- 
many was celebrating the heyday of her civilization 
in the little States where, amid this general budding 
of great minds, Goethe introduced the experiment- 
al novel into literature, Novalis wrote his Hymns 
to Night and Heine, a little later, proclaimed the 
eternity of romance, while in the art of painting, 
overshadowed by the theories of Winckelmann, she 
was able to point to his disciple Anton Rafael Mengs 
and the fortunately more independent Chodowiecki. In 
Spain, the country where great painters appear 
like meteors, Goya had opened a new era. In 
France, weary of the carnage that had marked her 
Revolution, David, the man of iron ability, after 
glorifying the Republic under Robespierre, called 
into being, on the ruins of the eighteenth century, 
an imperial art which came to maturity under 
Napoleon and became the foundation of a school of 



Introductory 9 

painting that kept France at the head of the artistic 
world for well-nigh a century. 

To us, who had lost our liberty, our independence, 
our strength and who possessed so very little in 
the domain of art, the beginning of the nineteenth 
century brought nothing but humiliation upon humi- 
liation. Our national existence appeared to be wiped 
out. We were without power of action or, conse- 
quendy, of reaction. True, the seventeenth century 
had borne fruit in such superabundance that two 
successive centuries have not sufficed to make us 
realize it fully. The soil had exhausted itself in 
producing the miraculous figure of Rembrandt, the 
epitome of all latent, conscious and unconscious 
forces, of all the instincts of a people, of the gospel 
of a nation rejuvenated by its newly-acquired liberty; 
of Rembrandt, in whom for us the seventeenth 
century is personified and incarnate. And a long 
period of rest was needed before the soil would 
once more become fertile and produce an artist, a 
dreamer whose genius should fall like a ray of light 
into a scientific age. 



CHAPTER II 
THE HISTORY-PAINTERS 

It would be impossible to write the history of Dutch 
painting in the nineteenth century without naming 
Jan Willem Pieneman as its founder, even though 
it were only because he was the valued master of 
Jozef Israels. This opinion may be regarded as 
hackneyed and antiquated; and it may be argued 
that Pieneman and Kruseman and their like did more 
harm than good to Dutch art, inasmuch as they led 
it into strange paths. But, apart from the fact that 
this extraneous tendency was the prevailing one in 
every country, Pieneman may be credited with having, 
by the strength of his personality, raised painting 
to the position of an independent art, able to produce 
a more powerful school than could ever hope to 
arise from the continual copying of seventeenth- 
century master-pieces. 

Pieneman was born at Abcoude in 1770 and 
destined for a commercial career, for which, however, 
he was disinclined. He therefore resolved to enter 
a factory of painted hangings, intending at the same 
time to learn something of the painter's trade. In 




MRS. ZIESENIS-WATTIER — J. W. PIENEMAN 
{Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) 



OF THE ^r' 

■ERSITV 



>^ OF THE ^>' 

UNIVERSITY 

or y 



The History-painters n 

the evenings, he drew from the antique and the 
nude at the Amsterdam Academy, which appears 
to have been very deficiently equipped, so much so 
that, according to Van Eynden and Van der Willigen, 
Pieneman's chief instructor was his own genius. To 
provide for his maintenance, he began to give lessons 
at an early date and had to accept commissions to 
colour prints. In 1805, he was appointed drawing- 
master to the School of Artillery and Engineering, 
then still at Amersfoort, and, although he had, in the 
meantime, won prizes and painted portraits and land- 
scapes, he continued to fill the post until 18 16, 
when King William I. gave him the directorship of 
the royal collection at the Hague. Four years later, 
he was appointed the first president of the Royal 
Academy of Fine Arts. 

Neither his landscapes nor his portraits brought 
Pieneman the fame which was soon to resound beyond 
the frontiers of our country. His first success was his 
Heroism of the Prince of Orange at Quatre-BraSj a 
large picture, twenty feet by thirteen, painted by 
order of the government for presentation to the 
prince. Before reaching its final destination in the 
palace at Soestdijk, it was exhibited in Amsterdam, 
Brussels and Ghent and, according to Immerzeel, 
was praised for its broad and powerful style, its 
accurate drawing and its fidelity to nature. 

This was followed by The Battle of Waterloo^ the 
sketch for which is in the Duke of Wellington's 
possession. The picture, which is twenty-seven feet 
wide by eighteen high, represents the moment at 
which the Prince of Orange is being carried, wounded, 
from the battle-field. The chief figures are painted 



12 The History-painters 

with attention to details and the wounded prince is 
thrown into much less prominence than the figure 
of Wellington himself, who stands like an equestrian 
statue in the centre of the picture, which serves as an 
apotheosis of the British field-marshal. Pieneman 
paid three several visits to London to paint portraits 
for this historical piece: during one of these, 1819 
to 1 82 1, he was the guest of the Duke of Wellington 
and, in addition to the necessary studies, painted a 
number of portraits of the leading nobility. In order 
to produce his large picture, for which he had no 
commission, he built a studio outside Amsterdam, 
beyond the Leiden Gate. Here he was visited by 
King William L, who bought the painting for forty 
thousand guilders for presentation to the Prince of 
Orange. It was exhibited in Ghent, Brussels and 
London and altogether earned about one hundred 
thousand guilders for the artist. 

Pieneman painted many portraits in Holland as 
well as in England and in these his artistic tem- 
perament is most strongly displayed. One might say 
of him that he had little of the refined classicism 
which is to be met with in neighbouring countries ; 
that he possessed more temperament than education, 
more common sense than intuition and that he was 
entirely devoid of the pictorial sense which was 
never lacking in the seventeenth century. But that 
he possessed a real artist*s temperament is proved 
by his often rough, but always forcible portraits; 
and, although far from being a quick draughtsman, 
he had a good idea of the construction of a head, 
which enabled him to turn out his portraits rapidly 
enough. He died in 1854. 




PORTRAIT OF AN OLD LADY— J. W. PIENEMAN 

(Rifksmusfum, Amsterdam) 



■Y - OF THE ^K 

'{ 'UNIVERSITY 




MRS. LEEMBRUGGEN — J. VV. PIENEMAN 
[The property of Mr. J. Lecmbrnggen, Amsterdam) 



The History-painters 13 

The Battle of Waterloo shows none of those pas- 
sions, of that hatred born of impotence, which 
urged the Allies forward on that summer's day. 
The figures of the Duke of Wellington and the 
other persons in the foreground are good portraits ; 
but neither their attitude nor their action conveys 
the impression that a fierce and critical contest is 
taking place. Nor has Pieneman's drawing the sup- 
pleness necessary to express a great moment. And 
yet he possessed what the born artist who, with 
scanty means, conquers for himself a place in a 
barren period must needs possess : he had energy 
and influenced his times. Jozef Israels has said 
of him that he was a genius who grew up in an 
inartistic age; and it was not his fault if the times 
in which he lived prevented him from developing 
himself In a society in a state of transformation, 
where, on the one hand, men, proud of their reco- 
vered nationality, asked for topical pictures representing 
the heroic deeds of the day, while, on the other hand, 
a pious tendency held sway and called for religious 
or kindred subjects strictly confined to the limits of the 
middle-class virtues, there was no opportunity for 
the exaltation of painting pure and simple and I* Art 
pour I' art for once became a misplaced maxim. 

And then think of the makeshifts with which 
Pieneman had to content himself Burdened by 
an early marriage, he painted his Quatre-Bras in 
a small upper-part in the Nes, where he had to 
roll up one half of his enormous canvas, crammed 
with life-size equestrian figures, in order to paint 
the other half. He must have possessed a certain 
strength of will, a remarkable power of representation, 



H The History-painters 

to complete a work of this kind in circumstances 
such as these. And yet, though he was honoured 
in his time and distinguished by his sovereign, 
though he was socially esteemed and lived in "a 
stately house on a canal, " though one may say 
of him that he was a great man in a slack time, 
he will never occupy a place in the ranks of our 
great painters nor even stand among our " litde 
masters." His chief services to art were rendered 
as director of the Amsterdam Academy. Israels 
describes him as an excellent drawing-master, tho- 
roughly acquainted with the mathematics of the 
nude and unrivalled in the suggestion of an outline 
with a bit of chalk or charcoal. And it is certain 
that, as the master of Jozef Israels, who drew for 
seven years under his guidance and never speaks of 
him other than with respect and esteem, he deserves 
an honourable place in the memory of us all. 

Nicolaas Pieneman, his son and pupil, was bom 
at Amersfoort in 1810, died in i860 and enjoyed — 
chiefly at the Hague, where he lived — an even 
greater favour than his father, thanks to his many 
portraits of the royal family. It is a pure delight 
to hear Jozef Israels reply, when asked how the 
younger Pieneman painted: 

" Klaas Pieneman was a courtier ; at an exhibition, 
he used to walk arm in arm with William the Third ! " 

He had neither his father's temperament nor vigour 
and, possibly by way of a reaction against the 
latter's frequent want of polish, he painted in a soapy 
and feeble style, especially his royal portraits, 
which are smooth and insipid and devoid of all life. 



OF THE 'T):?* 

'FRSITY 




PORTRAIT OF A CHILD — NICOLAAS PIENEMAN 
{Fodor Museum, Ainstcrdani) 



The History-painters 15 

On the other hand, he must not be judged entirely 
by his royal portraits: the portrait of his father in 
the Rijksmuseum and a Head of a Man in the 
Municipal Museum of Amsterdam are better, although 
in these too he misses the naturalness that distinguished 
his father. And, if he had not that charming Por- 
trait of a Child in the Fodor Museum standing to his 
credit, there would be little say about him but that 
he was greatly liked and lived in a fine house in 
the Hague. This portrait, however, places him in 
a different category and we will gladly forgive him 
his smooth official portraits for the sake of the great 
feeling in this little picture. 
His contemporaries judged differently. Kramm writes : 

" It is a pleasure to me to be able to write a page 
in the history of art which gready increases the fame 
of the Dutch school of painting of our own times. 
It concerns the brilliant talent of that celebrated painter, 
Nicolaas Pieneman, who has achieved an European 
reputation with his many famous master-pieces." 

He mentions a whole array of royal presents, of 
gold snuff-boxes richly adorned with brilliants and 
enamels, and enumerates an endless series of portraits 
of King William II., of the Crown-prince, afterwards 
William III., of the latter's sons the Princes William 
and Alexander, of Princess Sophie, of the suites of 
the King and the Crown-prince. Nicolaas Pieneman 
was the first painter to receive the Order of the 
Netherlands Lion ; and it must be added that he was 
honoured not only in his own country, but also — or 
was it his royal models? — in Paris, for, at the 



1 6 The History-painters 

International Exhibition of 1855, he was given the 
Legion of Honour for his life-size portrait of William 
III., in naval uniform, and of his royal father. 

Jean Augustin Daiwaille was born at Cologne in 
1789 and, as a child, accompanied his parents to 
Holland, where he was educated for a painter by 
Adriaan de Lelie. Although his little genre-pieces 
met with considerable favour in their time, he was 
valued by his contemporaries mostly as a painter of 
portraits distinguished for their breadth of execution 
and their resemblance to the originals. He became 
director of the Amsterdam Academy of Plastic Arts 
and resigned his appointment in order to accompany 
an agent of the Dutch Trading Company to Brazil. 
Upon maturer consideration, he abandoned this plan 
and founded a lithographic establishment. Later, he 
settled at Rotterdam, where he occupied himself 
with portrait- painting until his death in 1850. 

There is a certain want of definiteness about this 
short biography by Immerzeel and it is repeated 
in the account of Daiwaille's pupil, Cornelis K ruse- 
man, who is said to have learnt his broad brushwork 
from Hodges, whereas Daiwaille, who was never 
satisfied with his work and never succeeded in finish- 
ing it, is supposed to have taught him only how 
not to paint. However, it often happens that later 
generations pass a different judgment ; and many will 
discover finer qualities in the hesitations of this 
painter and pastellist than in the work of his over- 
praised pupil. Daiwaille's Portrait of Himself 2X the 
Rijksmuseum confirms the first impression : it shows 
us the melancholy face of one whose nature was his 




VAN DEMMELTKAADT — J. A. DAIWAILLE 

{Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam] 



The History-painters 17 

own worst enemy. The modernity of the analysis 
is astonishing in the pale-blue eyes; and the whole 
face is painted with a sincerity which none but a 
sensitive character would offer. The Portrait of Him- 
self at Boymans' Museum is a more pleasant picture ; 
and the same museum contains his very dainty 
Portrait of a Woman, in pastel. His best portrait, 
however, is that of H. van Demmeltraadt. 

Although Cornelis Kruseman dates back to the 
end of the eighteenth century (he was born in 
1 797 and died in 1854), he can hardly be considered 
a man of Jan Pieneman's generation. Not that the 
elder Kruseman helped Dutch painting forward: on 
the contrary, while Pieneman preserved, if not the 
artistic culture, at least the simplicity of the eighteenth 
century, Kruseman, endowed with less temperament, 
a greater desire for refinement and less vigour, 
displayed a hankering after more pronounced forms 
and, in the absence of a natural gift of colour, em- 
ployed hard tones for his biblical or Italian subjects 
and, in general, turned the art of painting into an 
uncouth classicism. 

Meanwhile, it appears that Kruseman showed a 
decided aptitude for painting at a very early age; 
anyway, in 18 19, he made a great success at an 
exhibition at the Hague with a picture representing 
a blind beggar, lighted by a paper lantern, whose 
appearance had always impressed him as he went down 
the Spui of an evening. People thought that they 
had found a Dou, a Schalcken Redivivus; and he 
received many orders for candle-light effects, all of 
which he refused, because it was not his object in 

2 



i8 The History-painters 

life to imitate candle-light and he took no pleasure 
in such things. He strove to express the loftier 
matters in human nature and he felt offended that it 
had not been recognized at once that he had painted 
this picture only because of the venerable head of 
the beggar. He aimed further than the Dutch genre- 
painters, whose manner he considered insignificant 
and undignified. This was the time when David was 
decking out his heroes in the form and garb of antiquity ; 
it was also the time when Italy was regarded as the 
land of promise, as the cradle of art and when 
Raphael's smooth outlines were held to possess a 
distinction by comparison with which Rembrandt was 
often considered vulgar : an opinion shared by some 
of the younger literary men until as late as 1880. 
In 182 1, Kruseman went via Paris to Italy, stayed 
three years in Rome and came back confirmed in his 
predilections. He began by painting biblical sub- 
jects and Roman peasants, the latter supplying him 
with the classical models which he had sought in vain 
in his own country. Nevertheless, he sacrificed him- 
self in his turn to the national enthusiasm which had 
made the elder Pieneman the history-painter of Quatre- 
Bras and Waterloo and which drove Kruseman to 
paint a later episode : H. R. H. the Prince of Orange 
at the moment when his horse was wounded at Bau- 
terzeuy 12 August i8ji, a picture which, like Piene- 
man's, may be looked upon as a sort of continuation 
of the doelen- or corporation-pieces. But this inter- 
lude had no influence upon the remainder of his 
work. The culture which he had acquired during 
his stay in Paris and his Italian journey had gra- 
dually alienated him from his own nationality. A 




CHRIST WITH MARTHA AND MARY — CORNELIS KRUSEMAN 

{The property of Mrs. Labonchere, Zeisf) 



The History-painters 19 

long stay in Italy has never proved other than 
detrimental to any of our painters. It simply meant 
that they returned home seeing things from a point 
of view quite at variance with our national feeling. 
Ecclesiastical art brought into a Protestant country 
by a Protestant Dutchman must needs become thea- 
trical. And in technique also Kruseman was doomed 
to fall short ; for, though his ideas were formed upon 
the Italian masters of the Renascence and upon Raphael 
in particular, he lacked the feeling and the technical 
knowledge necessary to emulate the peculiar qualities 
of those masters. All that we can say, therefore, 
is that Kruseman knew how, at a given moment, 
to give to a certain public exactly what it demanded, 
namely, an ideal conception of biblical figures, devoid 
of sensual charm or passion. And the result was that, 
although theologians wrote in indignant terms to 
protest that this great man was indulging in anachro- 
nism in his biblical subjects and in spite of virulent 
criticism, he enjoyed a fame so universal as to exceed 
that ever known by Jozef Israels, Jacob Maris, or 
even by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, who was so 
much more easily understood outside his own 
painting-room than either of the others. 

Nor can this be called unnatural. The pictorial 
art of the Pienemans, of the Krusemans and, in 
particular, of Cornelis Kruseman was a direct echo 
of their time. As an historical painter in a period 
of newly-awakened national consciousness, Pieneman 
was the right man in the right place and he owes 
his reputation to his delineation of Quatre-Bras and 
the battle of Waterloo, which set the seal upon our 
liberty and renewed our compact with the House of 



20 The History-painters 

Orange, to which the episode of the wounded 
Crown-prince lent an emotional side. 

Kruseman, who had begun with a similar subject, 
devoted himself later on, after the peace had restored 
the ancestral Calvinism in a stricter form, mainly 
to the painting of Bible subjects, which were 
greatly admired for their " idealistic conception, " 
to use the then prevailing phrase so popular in pious 
circles : 

" Probably no people has at any time been more 
devoted to home-reading of an edifying character 
than our Protestant fellow-countrymen, " says A. C. 
Kruseman in his History of the Book-trade. 

Cornelis Kruseman's phlegmatic ideas were in the 
taste of the day : any passion would have disturbed 
the tranquillity of a view of life which demanded that 
everything should be gentle, pious and noble. The 
seventeenth-century paintings and prints, selected by 
a few, were thought low and common compared with 
the engravings published in the elegant almanacks 
of those days and accompanied by letterpress by 
serious authors. And the scenes of Italian peasant- 
life, the Neapolitan women, the pifferari, with their 
dark features, their sharp outlines against a blue 
sky, had what was known as a certain " nobility " 
of line which formed a great contrast with the 
vulgar Dutch people, the vulgar old-Dutch paintings, 
and which pleased the ladies. 

And yet it was not only the women who formed 
the ranks of Kruseman's worshippers ; these included 
practically everybody: the King, the Queen and, 
more, the painters. In connection with his St. 
John the Baptist^ a painting which he had executed 




THE THREE SISTERS — CORNELIS KRUSEMAN 
(The property of Mr. J. D. Kruscntan, the Hague) 



The History-painters 21 

for the most part during his second stay in Rome, 
the Hague artists united to offer him a lasting me- 
morial of the admiration with which they were 
seized at the contemplation of that work. This 
testimonial took the form of a silver cup, with 
cover and dish, beautifully designed and chased in 
the style of the sixteenth century and engraved with 
a suitable inscription in rhyme immortalizing the 
homage paid by the Dutch school to Kruseman 
after seeing his SL John, while a vellum document 
with Gothic illuminations spoke in well-chosen words 
of the painter's imperishable fame. 

Public favour is fickle. The lasting duration 
which the inscription prophesied was fulfilled neither 
figurative nor literally. Most of his great works no 
longer exist. Thanks to his habit of continual repaint- 
ing — Kruseman was not easily pleased with himself — 
and of constant treatment with some siccative or 
other, a process to which perhaps he did not give 
enough care, it happened that the paint, which was 
never quite dry under the surface, began to sink, 
so that the upper portion became unrecognizable, 
and, while the hands of the Baptist of the picture, 
at that time in the collection of King William II., 
had dropped to the ground, the head hung where 
the hands should be and great lumps of paint were 
heaped up at the bottom against the frame. The 
case is not without parallel: the same thing is 
told of English painters insufficiently acquainted 
with the secrets of their craft. Only a few of 
Kruseman's pictures escaped this fate, including the 
four religious paintings in Mrs. Labouchere's chateau 
at Zeist, his best work ; a portrait of Three Sisters ; 



22 The History-painters 

and some of his other portraits and smaller pic- 
tures. 

But the lasting fame that makes us mourn what is 
lost the more we admire what has been preserved, this 
also was denied him. His was not an art that excelled 
in artistic merit or originality of ideas : it owed its 
existence and its success to the conception of the 
subject, which, being the product of his time, was 
bound to die with the spirit of that time. 

His chief pupils were Jan Adam Kruseman, his 
cousin, in whose studio Jozef Israels was to work 
in later years, Vintcent, who, although he died 
young, turned with all his soul towards the romantic 
movement, Jan Hendrik and Johan Philip Koelman, 
of whom the latter was to prove the last adherent 
to classicism, David Bles, whom one would not 
expect to find here, Herman ten Kate, De Poorter, 
Elink Sterk and Ehnle. 

Jan Adam Kruseman, born at Haarlem in 1804, 
is best known as a portrait-painter. His portraits 
were praised as good likenesses and excellent pictures. 
The fact is that, without showing the artistry of 
the old Dutchmen, they do impress us by their 
simplicity and a certain style. Jan Kruseman did 
not try to complete his education in Italy, but, after 
the departure of his master, Cornells, for that country, 
worked for two years in Brussels under the great 
David and went from there to Paris, whence he 
returned in 1825 and made a start with The Invention of 
Printing by Laurens Rosier. He also began to paint 
corporation-pieces for the Baptist community at Haar- 
lem and the Amsterdam Leper Hospital. Although, 




ADA OF HOLLAND — J. A, KRUSEMAN 
{Tcylefs Institute, Haarlem) 



The History-painters 23 

in his historical and biblical subjects, we are able to 
recognize a love of pronounced forms showing the 
influence of David or perhaps even more of Ingres, 
he possessed neither the vigour nor the tenacity of 
these painters. On the other hand, there was some- 
thing in his colouring and his modelling that was 
more free and natural than in the elder Kruseman's 
and yet not to so great an extent that these pieces 
can be valued by posterity apart from historical 
associations. The case is different with his portraits, 
although in these he is terribly uneven. His simple 
and natural portrait of Adriaan van der Hoop, his 
Portrait of Himself in the museum at Haarlem, 
conceived in the style of Ingres, and a portrait of 
a more pictorial character exhibited under his name 
in the same gallery might have been painted by 
three different artists. 

He had a great name as a painter and was 
especially valued as a portrait-painter, in which 
capacity, according to his contemporaries, he made 
thirty thousand guilders a year. He led an excellent 
life in Amsterdam, was a jolly companion, kind to 
his brother- artists, helping them when he could, 
and later, as director of the Academy, a zealous 
teacher. Together with T6tar van Elven, he founded 
the society known as Arti et Amicitise and, with it, the 
Artists' Widows and Orphans Fund. He died in 1862. 
The best-kown of his biblical subjects is Tlu 
Widow's Mite^ popularized through Steelink's engra- 
ving. De Genestet wrote a poem on it and the 
grave conception — we do not know the painting 
itself — and popular subject made it a favourite 
ornament for the sitting-room. He had as litde 



24 The History-painters 

romanticism in him as the elder Kruseman; only 
his ideas were a little less uncouth, less prejudiced, 
less hard, though quite as passionless. 

Of all Cornelis Kruseman*s pupils, the Koelmans 
alone remained faithful to the principles which their 
teacher proclaimed. Johan Philip Koelman (1818 — 
1 893) stood like a solitary on the ruins of classicism and 
became the more fanatical the more he saw his fellow- 
students and his own pupils departing in another direc- 
tion. Jan Hendrik (1820 — 1887), the second of the 
brothers, went straight from Kruseman's studio to 
Rome and continued to live there till the day of 
his death. He painted many portraits and was, 
according to Vosmaer, who knew him in Rome, " a 
great artistic expert, a philosophical spirit, a most 
important man, yes, the type of a certain sort of 
artist: practical, experienced and positive in his 
execution, he is, at the same time, by nature a 
philosopher, whose deep-felt artistic speculations find 
utterance in fluent words and thoughts. " Jan Daniel 
(i 83 1 — 1 85 7), a younger brother, the talented pupil of 
J. B. Tom the animal-painter, made excellent studies 
of draught-oxen in the South, went on to paint Dutch 
pastures with cattle and gave cause to expect that, 
had he not died at the early age of twenty-six, he 
might have developed into an independent and ac- 
complished landscape-painter. 

Johan Philip was born at the Hague and was 
brought up to his father's trade as a carpenter. He 
soon showed a taste for painting, studied under 
Kruseman and followed the latter to Rome, where 
he remained for fifteen years, painting, drawing and 




M. A. DIEUDONNE VAN BAERLE— J. A. KRUSEMAN 
{The property of Dr. C. E. Daniels, Amsterdam) 



The History-painters 25 

modelling. On his return to the Hague, he painted 
Roman scenes, some of them with all the delicacy 
of a miniaturist. Later, when he succeeded Van 
den Berg at the Academy, he was more of a 
sculptor and an architect than a painter. Vosmaer 
calls his draughtsmanship severe. In these latter 
days, we should be inclined rather to call it unfeeling, 
at once hard and slack. At a time of more widespread 
culture, his lack of depth and originality would have 
been more apparent. He had nothing whatever in 
common with our seventeenth century masters, who 
above all were good painters, as were the Hague 
landscape-painters after them. But, notwithstanding 
his theories, notwithstanding the complete set of 
thoughts, principles and opinions which he had 
acquired from the Italian masters, Koelman was 
great enough, as a teacher, to inspire independent 
pupils. 

The doom of classicism had come. No words, 
no theories are able to impede the progress of 
imperious life or to arrest the spirit of the age. 
Our country, in its turn, underwent the influence 
of the romantic movement, which came to us via 
Belgium and showed itself first in literature. The 
painters followed in the wake of the poets and 
novelists. But it was essentially a foreign movement 
and, therefore, imperfect in its manifestations. 

Henri Beyle, in his Histoire de la peinture en 
Italic^ says that what our soul asks of art is the 
portrayal of the passions and not of deeds provoked 
by the passions. And it was just this passion, 
which, in literature, was destined not to flame up 
until after 1870, that these natures were unable 



26 The History-painters 

to render, either because they were over-polished by- 
education or because they considered it incompatible 
with the calm belief of the time. Even the religious 
contests, surely the outcome of the most impetuous 
passion that could take fire in the Netherlands, 
had become dissolved in a calm, pious, conscientious 
life. 

When all is said, did not all the romanticism of that 
time, with one or two great exceptions, consist 
rather in the painting of deeds provoked by 
passions than in the portrayal of passion itself? 
And did not the Dutchmen of that time lack just 
the inspiring vigour with which a Delacroix trans- 
lated romanticism into the purely pictorial, while, on 
the other hand, they lacked the expressive line with 
which the German painters conveyed the emotional 
side of romanticism? The passion of the first was 
to be kindled with us later in the bursts of colour 
of the Hague school, in the visions of beauty of 
Matthijs Maris, to blaze most brightly in that not 
yet fully understood visionary Vincent van Gogh. 
The views of the second were shared (although the 
Germans showed more nervous lines) by that Dutch 
Parisian, Ary Scheffer, the artist in whom the weak, 
but also the emotional aspect of romanticism found 
a more than enthusiastic spokesman. 



CHAPTER III 
THE ROMANTICISTS 

Ary Scheffer was born at Dordrecht in 1795. 
His father, Jan Baptist Scheffer, was a German, a 
native of Mannheim and a pupil of Tischbein the 
portrait-painter. He was attached to the Court of 
King Louis Napoleon and died in Amsterdam in 
1809. He made a name as a painter of portraits 
and interiors. He married at Dordrecht the daughter 
of Arie Lamme the scene-painter, one of Joris 
Ponse's pupils, who also distinguished himself by 
his excellent copies of Albert Cuyp and sometimes 
himself painted pictures in the same manner. Cor- 
nelia Lamme seems to have been a woman endowed 
with beauty, charm, artistic talent and a strong 
personality, to whose initiative her three sons owe 
their training and a great part of their fame. History, 
including the history of painting, shows a whole 
array of mothers who, through their firm belief in 
their sons* talent, their indefatigable material solicitude, 
their utter self sacrifice, have smoothed for their sons 
the difficult road of art. Ary received his first 
training at his father's hands and, when the latter 



28 The Romanticists 

died, at a time when the art of painting in Holland 
had sunk very low, Mrs. Scheffer resolved to take 
her children to Paris, where Ary and Henri could 
receive a good education. In 1810, the year before 
their departure, when Ary was in his fifteenth year, 
he exhibited in Amsterdam a portrait that was 
ascribed to the brush of a past master in the 
art. It has been regretted, by Frenchmen as well 
as by ourselves, that he did not remain in Hol- 
land and paint in accordance with the traditions 
of his own country. But, at that time, when all 
eyes were turned to Paris, it was only natural that 
those who could should make for this centre of 
civilization and refinement. In any case, it was not 
easy for the unknown Dutchman, with his defective 
education, to conquer a place in the city of those 
experts in technique, Ingres, Delacroix and G6ricault; 
and, until he made a name with his Gretchen at the 
Spinning-wkeely his lack of a firm groundwork of 
knowledge often caused him to be looked upon as 
an amateur or dilettante painter. 

In the meantime, he exhibited, in 1825, a portrait 
of M. Destuit de Tracy which was approved in 
every respect and considered a master-piece of 
draughtsmanship. And, after his Defence of Misso- 
longhiy in which he employed the palette of Delacroix, 
after The Suliote Women, in which, while adopting 
the same colouring, he first displayed the feminine 
charm of his talent, he exhibited, in 1831, the 
Gretchen aforesaid, one of his best works, regarded by 
some as his master-piece, a work, at any rate, with 
which he secured a place of his own in the painting 
world of Paris. The picture is well known through 




REYNOLDS THE ENGRAVER — ARY SCHEFFER 

(Municipal Mtiscutii, Dordrecht) 



The Romanticists 29 

the reproductions. It was admired for the delicacy 
of feeling, the expression, the composition and it 
was considered affecting, as a whole. It was said 
that no one had interpreted Goethe's Gretchen as 
Ary Scheffer had done: no painter, no poet, no 
actress. Heinrich Heine, who wrote his impressions 
of the Salon of 1831 in the A/lgemeiner Augsdurgery 
devoted a whole chapter to Gretchen at the Spinning- 
wheel and to its fellow-picture, a Faust, which was 
not so greatly admired by the painters, but which 
roused Heine's enthusiasm ; he called it eine schone 
Menschenruine : 

" One who had never seen any of this artist's 
work, " he wrote, " would be at once struck by a 
certain manner that speaks from his arrangement of 
colours. His enemies declare that he paints only 
with snuff and green soap. I do not know how far 
they do him an injustice. His brown shadows are 
often affected and hence miss the Rembrandt effect 
of light intended. His faces mostly display that fatal 
colour which has so often made us take a dislike 
to our own face when, after long sleeplessness, we 
look at it in those green mirrors which we find in any 
inn at which the diligence stops in the morning .... 

" If we look into Scheffer's pictures more closely 
and longer, we become familiarized with his man- 
nerism, we begin to think the treatment of the whole 
very poetic and we see that a serene mood peers 
through these melancholy colours like sunbeams 
through the clouds .... 

" Really, Scheffer's Gretchen is indescribable, " 
continues Heine, a little lower down. " She has more 



30 The Romanticists 

mind than face. It is a painted soul. Whenever I 
went past her, I used involuntarily to say, *Liebes 
Kind! * . . . . A silent tear rolls down the pretty 
cheek, a dumb tear of melancholy." 

The women especially doted on Ary Scheffer, so 
much so that it became an act of courage to publish 
any hostile comment on his work. They recognized 
the heart in the painter and fell into ecstasies over 
his sensitive and emotional nature. " Une larme aux 
yeux ne men t jamais y** says Alfred de Musset; and 
the somewhat feminine Scheffer, the man of sentiment, 
the man grown up in the mutual cult of mother and 
son, the man who never really knew what it was 
to be young, the man of melancholy poetic ideas, 
passionless and devoid of real sorrow, was just the 
man to draw that tear. 

He understood the emotional side of painting; 
what he lacked was technical knowledge. And yet, 
notwithstanding his deficiency in that pictorial quality 
which we Dutch regard as the one and only essential 
of good painting, notwithstanding the feeble sentiment 
and often somewhat barren lines of his pictures, this 
painter of mixed Dutch and German origin, brought 
up from his childhood under the great French 
masters of romanticism, has always represented to 
us an important talent. It is a talent that stands, 
for the most part, outside the Dutch tradition, 
even though foreigners are inclined to see a certain 
striving after Rembrandt effects in the arrangement 
of the light. And the golden brown that may be 
so looked upon is no doubt far preferable to the 
feeble brown medium which one perceives glancing 




CHRIST ON THK MOUNT OF OLIVES —ARY SCHEFFER 

{Municipal Museum, Dordrecht) 



The Romanticists 31 

everywhere through the pale colours; and, though 
this blends best with the pale blues of his Gretchens, 
it makes the facial colouring seem very unheimisch. 
When Scheffer came to Holland in 1844 as a 
famous man, he wrote, after visiting the Mauritshuis : 

" I have seen wonderful pictures of the old Dutch 
school. Meanwhile, I am beginning to have a higher 
opinion of my own talent .... I believe that I 
have touched a string which the others have never 
played upon." 

Therein lies his merit. 

The two large pictures in Boyman's Museum, 
Count Eberhard of Wiirtemberg cutting the Table-cloth 
between himself and his Son and Count Eberhard by 
the dead Body of his Son, life-size subjects taken from 
Uhland's ballad, are painted under Dutch influence 
in the matter of colour; but this causes us to miss 
the atmosphere all the more. Scheffer was more 
powerful in pictures which he painted from nature, 
such as the portrait of Reynolds the engraver, in 
the Dordrecht Museum, which, with its fluently- 
painted design, seems inspired by the English painters. 
Towards the end of his life, in painting his biblical 
subjects he underwent the influence of the Italian 
masters, which produced the more vigorous colour- 
scheme and the more positive, although still very 
sensitive conception of the Christ bearing the Cross 
at Dordrecht. 

To many and also to those Dutch painters who 
are still able to take account of the works of the 
romantic movement his Paolo and Francesca is his 



32 The Romanticists 

master-piece. The well-known engraving does not 
do justice to this picture, whose value consists in 
the vigour of the diagonal line by which the painter 
lets the figures soar on high. It is well painted 
and is not so shadowless as his Gretchen at the 
Fountain which, like the Paob and Francesca, is in 
the Wallace collection and which, in the arrangement 
of its lines, suggests a cartoon by Overbeck. 

The sensitiveness of Scheffer's character is easily 
perceived in his work. But in daily life he was so 
gentle that he could not endure to see a cloud or 
a wrinkle on the faces of those who were with him. 
Many abused this quality of his, so that he was 
forced to work ever harder in order to satisfy the 
many demands upon him. His benevolence knew 
no bounds nor did he ever spare pains to assure 
his mother's comfort. 

His studio was difficult of entrance. Mrs. Grote, 
who is not always to be trusted in her remarks upon 
his work, tells how he refused admission to almost 
everybody. Still, he sometimes yielded to the 
prayers of his numberless admirers of the other sex. 
Then, on a Sunday morning, everything would be 
prepared; the visitors entered with hushed voices, 
as into a church ; an organ played in the distance .... 
but the painter himself, meanwhile, was riding his 
horse in the Bois! 

Ary Scheffer died at Argenteuil in 1858. His 
brother Henri, who was also a pupil of Gu6rin's, 
was thought by some to be the better painter, 
although he achieved nothing like the same celebrity. 
His Charlotte Corday^ an excellent painting, in the 
Luxembourg, was copied there no fewer than twelve 




THE WEATHER-GLASS — T. S. COOL 
{The property of Mrs. Nijhoff-Cool, Schevcningen) 



The Romanticists 33 

hundred times before the year 1849. There is a 
Lying-in of his at Boymans* Museum. More in Ary*s 
style is his Joan of Arc in the historical collection 
at Versailles ; but he excelled most of all in portrait- 
painting. Ernest Renan married his daughter. 

Generally speaking, Ary Scheffer exercised no 
great influence upon the Dutchmen of his time : the 
strongest of them avoided his influence rather than 
fall under it. Nevertheless, it may be said that the 
same emotionalism that characterizes the work of 
Ary Scheffer is repeated sporadically, in other forms, 
in the painting of a later date, including the art of 
our own country. And, although the figure of the 
great Dutch master, Jozef Israels, is too vigorous to 
allow of a comparison, still it was his same seeking 
for poetry, in another domain, that made Duranty, 
the French critic, say of his Alone in the World that 
it was painted d' ombre et de douleur. And do we not 
sometimes find moments in Toorop which Scheffer, 
had his line been firmer, would have loved to paint ? 
And, generally speaking, the younger generation of 
painters often seems to exhibit a reaction against a 
landscape which it considers not sufficiently thoughtful 
or, rather, not sufficiently literary. 

Thomas Simon Cool, bom at the Hague in 1831, 
was an exponent of a more vigorous romanticism. 
In 1853, he painted his Atala^ with its life-size 
figures, a bold feat for a youth of two and twenty; 
in 1859, his Last of the Abencerrages. Standing 
before the Chactas in the former picture at the 
Hague Museum, we find it difficult to imagine what 
the painter could have seen in this subject. And 

3 



34 The Romanticists 

yet, though we may now consider it an unattractive 
picture, it was described in its time as a promising 
work by a young painter and was thought much of 
in Paris also. And, even now, notwithstanding the 
emptiness of the composition and the harshness of 
the colouring and the workmanship, it shows signs 
of conviction. Later, his art turned in a more 
national direction : he took to painting portraits and 
intimate scenes of Dutch life. But he was never 
certain of himself, never satisfied with himself. 
Towards the end of a very short life, he became 
drawing-master at the Military Academy, where he 
did well and was held in high account. He died, 
suddenly, in 1870. 

Another and even shorter-lived artist, Lodewijk 
Anthony Vintcent (18 12- 184 2), never turned his 
back upon romanticism, in which lay all his strength 
and all his weakness. He worked first under 
B. J. van Hove and later under Comelis Kruseman. 
He excelled in romantic little genre- pieces: Savoyards, 
with eyes of exaggerated size, and the like. His 
master-piece is said to be The City Apoihecaryy 
which was painted in the cholera year and represents 
a crowd of sick and poor waiting for medicines. 
The grouping of the figures is lifelike : two dogs are 
fighting for a bone in the foreground; round the 
corner, in the distance, in a street drawn in fine out- 
line, is a hearse. They say that Vintcent was slightly 
colour-bUnd — he confused red and green — and that 
this defect was not apparent in the grey-brown 
tones of this particular picture, which harmonized 
so well with the subject. Still, these genre-pieces do 



The Romanticists 35 

not make the romanticist. It was rather the feeling, 
the combination, the conception, the gruesomeness, 
as in the case again of his illustrations to Macbeth^ 
that gave the necessary suggestiveness. And yet we 
cannot believe, when we contemplate the false and 
sentimental feeling displayed in these Savoyards with 
or without marmots or mousetraps, that, even if he 
had lived, the young painter would easily have 
overcome this romantic condition of soul. 

The Rotterdam history-painters, Willem Hendrik 
Schmidt and Arnold Spoel, were of much more 
importance, in their day, than Vintcent. The former 
was the intimate friend of Bosboom, who nursed 
him through his last illness; he was also the master 
of Christoffel Bisschop and was generally so honoured 
that he used to be ironically described as the Allah 
of Dutch painting, with Spoel, his pupil, for his 
prophet. This celebrity extended beyond his own 
country, so much so that, when he showed The 
Raising of the Daughter of fairus at Cologne, his 
work was spoken of as the first in the exhibition and 
Degas' Cain and Abel as the second. He was born 
in 1 809 at Rotterdam, received his first lessons from 
Gilles de Meyer, another Rotterdammer, who was 
more of a teacher than an independent artist, for the 
main part formed himself and, later, in 1840, acquired, 
in the museums of Diisseldorf, Berlin and Dresden, 
that culture which cannot be denied him. When 
he died, in 1849, at Delft, where for some years he 
had taught drawing at the Training-school for Engi- 
neers, people wrung their hands in despair for the 
future of Dutch painting after such a loss. 



36 The Romanticists 

He is said to have possessed an original manner, 
to have succeeded in giving colour, dignity and 
charm to his works, especially in the painting of 
fabrics and all sorts of accessories, which reminded 
one of the old masters. And yet how intensely 
tedious are just those very qualities in the painters 
of so-called old-Dutch interiors ! It would appear as 
though they all excelled in this, for we become sick 
and tired, in these shiny little pictures, of those 
" excellently limned " accessories and stuffs and silks. 
Still, Schmidt demanded more of art — and here we 
see his romanticism come peeping round the corner — • 
began to feel that art must become something nobler 
and more exalted. We, who really known little of 
his work besides the picture of the monks in Boymans* 
Museum, in which naturally we cannot expect to 
find any lively colouring, see in him merely a good 
painter, with a rather wearisome method, a narrow 
modelling and a notable lack of harmony. His 
great, if short-lived fame must have rested on more 
important work than this. 

It would appear that the history-painter Spoel is 
a little closer to us than his master. This impression 
is perhaps due to the engraving of his Procession of 
the Rotterdam Rhetoricians on the occcLsion of the progress 
of the Queen of England, ig March 1642, which 
was published as a prize of the Society for the 
Encouragement of the Plastic Arts and distributed 
in every corner of our country. Westrheene says 
of the original picture that it unites all Spoel's good 
qualities and, moreover, displays a strength of colour, 
an ease and firmness of touch of which he did not 



The Romanticists 37 

often give proof. Jacob Spoel was born at Rotter- 
dam in 1820 and died in the same town in 1868. 

Another contemporary of Jan Kruseman, of Klaas 
Pieneman, of Hendrik Schmidt, of Van de Laar is 
Petrus van Schendel, who was born in 1805, in a little 
village near Breda, and studied at the Antwerp 
Academy under Van Bree. He resided consecutively 
at Rotterdam, Amsterdam, the Hague and Brussels, 
painted portraits, historical pictures and genre-pieces 
and excelled in his little candle, lamp or torch-light 
scenes, which were thought much of in his day. 
As an historical painter, he did not object to big 
canvases : his Birth of Christ measured three Dutch 
ells by four. The distance between Van Schendel 
and Da Vinci is great, but he had one thing in 
common with Leonardo: the love and success with 
which he practised the science of mechanics. He 
patented, among others, an important improvement 
in the propelling of locomotives. Petrus van Schendel 
died in 1870. 

A much more genuine adherent of the romantic 
movement was Jan Hendrik van de Laar, born at 
Rotterdam in 1807, a pupil of the miniature-painters 
C. Bakker and G. Wappers. Although, once in a 
way, he felt drawn towards historical subjects, as 
when he painted an Heroic Death 0/ Herman de 
Ruiter, he preferred to move among the romantic 
episodes of Walter Scott or the romantic poems of 
Tollens, who provided the subject of his picture in 
Boy mans' Museum. And yet his art has really as 
little in common with the romantic movement as has 



38 The Romanticists 

ToUens* poem. Van de Laar*s Divorce overflows 
with middle-class sentimentality, with unnatural, feeble 
staginess. He died in 1874. 

This is how things stood in those days: as in 
Belgium, men were genre-painters in the style of the 
old masters; or historical painters — but here Belgium 
had the advantage, inasmuch as she shared French 
ideas more strongly and therefore was more power- 
fully moved — or painters of biblical subjects — and 
here, again, Belgium had the advantage, inasmuch as 
she was a Catholic country and her painters therefore 
were bound to observe a certain decorum and found 
a place for their work in the Catholic churches; ^ 
or else — and in this they were always more or less 
excellent — they painted portraits, or they painted 
fashionable interiors, which were generally somewhat 
sugary and insipid, or they painted landscapes — 
but this was a separate tendency — or else they 
painted all these subjects by turns. We had no 
Leys, who united colour and style in his renascence, 
even though Huib van Hove, in his little vistas, 
often gave good evidence of these two qualities; 
with us, everything was covered with a sauce of 
romanticism, which expressed itself in somewhat 
uncouth contrasts and which showed a decided 
preference for scenes with monks in them. One of 
the most sickly and self-satisfied instances of this 

* Whereas we had only the Frisian painter Otto de Boer, who painted 
The Raising of Lazarus for the church at Woudsend (where he was born 
in 1797) and The Sermon on the Mount, his best work, for the church 
at Heerenveen and, who therefore, like the painters in Catholic countries, 
was not obliged to adopt a flabby sentimentality in order to flatter the taste 
of the pietistic Protestants. De Boer died in 1856. 



The Romanticists 39 

Is a boudoir with a lady and a monk behind her, 
by Charles van Beveren (1809- 1850), that feeble 
painter who is so richly represented in the Fodor 
Museum. Schmidt also shared this predilection, as 
witness his Five Monks in Meditation at Boymans* 
Museum; and even Bosboom, that always eminent 
and distinguished painter, who from the beginning 
saw his way clear before him, took part in the fashion 
in his grand manner with Cantabimus ei psallemur and 
The Carmelite playing the Organ. 

The painters of that time, including Cool and 
Van Trigt, nearly all began by sacrificing to romance 
or history, although many of them soon returned to 
the traditions of their race. The Msecenases asked 
for historical painting. Amsterdam, the ever serious 
city, in whose daily life nature does not play so 
great a part as in that of the Hague, continued to 
place before the painters what it considered to be 
a useful and worthy aim. 

This historical romanticism is displayed in the 
most comical and, at the same time, in the most 
surprising light in many of the little pictures in the 
Historical Gallery, the outcome of the running com- 
mission given by Mr. de Vos, to which any painter 
could contribute lavishly and to which, although the 
payment was but modest, a large number of painters 
did contribute with commendable readiness. For it 
was as sure as that twice two are four that whosoever 
stood in need of ready money at that time would 
paint one of these pieces in a day or two, although 
there are a few fortunate exceptions. 

The contents of this Historical Gallery, now accom- 
modated in the Municipal Museum of Amsterdam, 



40 The Romanticists 

were painted between 1848 and 1863 to the order 
of Mr. J. de Vos Jzn., of Amsterdam, a lawyer and 
a well-known collector, who, in addition to the 253 
little pictures, all of the same size and shape, which 
form the gallery, possessed an important collection 
of which the acme consisted of drawings by the old 
Dutch masters, now partly housed in the Rijksmuseum. 
The historical plan, embracing the whole national 
history from A. D. 40 to A. D. 1861, the year of 
the great floods, was, if am not mistaken, arranged 
with much taste and insight and described in the 
catalogue by a well-known author, Mr. Jacob van 
Lennep. 

All that remains of any value to posterity, besides 
an attractive lesson in the history of the motherland 
for the youth of Amsterdam, is represented by the 
pictures of Alleb6, Alma Tadema and Jozef Israels 
and the twenty-six pieces by Rochussen, which excel in 
colour, style and, in the case of the last, in unity of 
treatment and great facility. Johannes Hinderikus 
Egenberger (1822 1897), first a professor at the 
Amsterdam Academy, afterwards director of the 
Academy at Groningen, divided the lion's share 
with Bernardus Wijnveldt Jr. (1821-1902), who 
succeeded him in the former appointment. Their 
contributions, except in those cases where Egenberger 
confined himself to the eighteenth century, in which 
he is sober and deserving, all belong to the most 
violent kind. The diagonal lines of the battlesome 
arms in The Heroic Death of Jan van Schaffelaar 
are perhaps the most characl eristic instance of that 
rude, theatrical system of historical painting which, like 
popular historical melodrama, is content to emphasize 




MISS HUYSER — H. A. DE BLOEME 

{Municipal Museum, the Hague) 



OF THE '^K 

■'ERSITY 



^.^^P" 



The Romanticists 41 

the hero, the traitor or the coward without troubling 
about the claims of the art concerned. As for the 
Kenau Hasselaar painted in collaboration by the 
two artists for the Town-hall at Haarlem, the violence 
of the Dutch Amazons, in view of the nature of 
the defensive weapons employed, is well worthy of 
the descriptive pen of a Huysmans. 

In the midst of all these painters bound to their 
period, in the midst of so many mediocrities, in the 
midst of a long array of " famous masters " whom 
we should nowadays find it impossible to enjoy, 
De Bloeme stands apart as a sturdy painter, showing 
neither the influences of his own time nor those of 
the seventeenth century, but entirely himself, honest 
and simple. Born in 1802 at the Hague, where 
he died in 1867, Hermanus Anthonie de Bloeme 
started under J. W. Pieneman, working in his studio 
at the Hague and afterwards following him to Amster- 
dam when Pieneman was appointed director of the 
Academy. It was inevitable that he should sacrifice 
to the spirit of the time and begin by painting 
historical, followed by biblical subjects, of which his 
Mary Magdalen is considered the best. Nor do I 
see any reason to believe that he excelled his con- 
temporaries in this regard, for his best portraits also 
were painted during the last twenty years of his life. 
What was most remarkable at that period was that 
he did not go to Italy in search of what he could 
find at home and this is the more noteworthy inas- 
much as the fact, fortunate for him is it was, arose 
not so much from any convinced idea as from his 
strong affection for his parents' house and its ways; 



42 The Romanticists 

nay more, when he had to take part in the great 
competition at the Amsterdam Academy, he pur- 
posely sent in his Adam and Eve by the body of Abel 
in an unfinished state to escape an award which 
would have taken him for four years far from home. 
Probably the sheer artistic merit which he so 
unconsciously betrayed in a bad period is partly 
due to this, even though it is also probable that he 
brought home an occasional idea from his shorter 
journeys. For it must be admitted that the delicious 
Portrait of a Lady in the Hague Museum and that 
of Baron van Omphal in the Rijksmuseum, his best 
portraits, show some conformity of conception with 
a portrait by Gallait in our Municipal Museum, even 
though it be true to say that the comparison is to 
the disadvantage of the once so renowned Belgian. 
The drawing is thoughtful and compact, without the 
superfluous flourish with which his contemporaries 
used to fill in their portraits. Moreover, the attitude 
of the head in the portrait of Miss Huyser above- 
mentioned displays an engagingness which we do not 
expect to find in that period. De Bloeme's colouring 
is simple and refined, as is his workmanship; and 
everything is so nicely balanced that we forget to 
analyze. He was not easily pleased and would 
rather smear out an almost completed portrait with 
a couple of smudges than deliver it against his will, 
a habit which necessitated endless patience on the 
part of his sitters. We are told how, after many 
sittings. Princess Marianne of the Netherlands, on 
paying her last visit to the studio at the appointed 
hour, found the painter engaged in smudging out 
her portrait, whereupon there followed a "scene" 




BARON VAN OMFHAL^ — H. A. DE BLOEME 
[Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) 



OF THE ^)^ 



The Romanticists 43 

which did not subside until mutual promises had 
been exchanged to start again from the beginning. 

There is a great contrast in temperament between 
the simple Hague portrait-painter and the somewhat 
younger romanticist Johan George Schwartze, his rival 
in Amsterdam. Thanks to a wider conception, to 
a certain tendency towards romanticism, to a search 
after not only the outer but also the inner aspect 
of his sitters, Schwartze may be said to have aimed 
higher in his portraits than the less complex Hague 
artist. And, in view of these qualities, one would 
be disposed at once to allot the first place to this 
Rembrandtesque painter, whose Portrait of Himself 
is in many ways so charming, so distinguished, so 
soulful. But, when we look at it again, the thing 
becomes different : from under that soulful performance 
peeps something weaker, even though it be a very 
lovable weakness, against which De Bloeme*s simpler 
excellence is well able to hold its own. 

The fact that Schwartze, for all his great and 
attractive qualities, did not exercise a greater influence 
over his younger contemporaries is perhaps due 
to this very inclination towards romanticism, to this 
very striving to imbue his portraits with characters. 
Mental and moral characteristics too strongly empha- 
sized can captivate us, in the long run, only when 
they are there unconsciously, or as an important 
piece of painting, or at any rate executed in a 
certain style. When Jozef Israels painted the portrait 
of his brother artist, Roelofs the landscape-painter, 
full of suggestion as it is, while seeking for the man 
under the social varnish, he emphasized no single 



44 The Romanticists 

quality at the expense of any other; perhaps only a 
painter could recognize the painter in the eyes of the 
portrait; and even this is quite subordinate to the 
intense life that breathes through the wide-open 
nostrils, under the high forehead, in the eyes beneath 
the bushy brows. Whereas, when Schwartze paint- 
ed the portrait of Professor Opzoomer, the philo- 
sopher, a portrait the conception of which was so 
greatly admired by the professor's friends because 
Schwartze painted the thinker as Faust, in a moment 
of despair, of powerlessness, he was condemned by a 
later generation, which sees that there is something 
so theatrical in the attitude, something so much of 
an actor playing his part, that the portrait resem- 
bles a rhetorical phrase rather than a human being. 

We are not saying that Schwartze was not an 
excellent painter or that in him, as in the later 
Lenbach, the painter was sacrificed entirely to the 
psychologist; for, although of German origin, he 
shows in his painting the pure Dutch characteristics : 
fine, warm shadows, strong half-tones and boldly 
modelled light, solid workmanship, thought in the 
execution, fulness, completeness. His own portrait 
is certainly one of the very finest expressions of 
Dutch romanticism ; the portrait of his wife, with 
which he made a great success at the time, pos- 
sesses that charm which we alw-ays value in a 
woman's portrait, however much the forms may alter ; 
in a certain sense, his portrait of Dr. Rive may be 
described as powerful ; while his portraits of children 
are also conceived in an interesting way. 

Schwartze left his native Amsterdam as a child, with 
his parents, for Philadelphia, whence he returred to 




POkTKAIT OF HIMSELF — J. G. SCHWARTZE 
[The property of Miss Therese Schwartze, Amsterdam) 



^ OF THE ^h^ 

"^ERSITY 



The Romanticists 45 

Europe in 1838, at the age of t^^enty-four, and 
spent six years at the Dusseldorf Academy under 
Schadow and Sohn. At the same time, he took 
private lessons from Lessing, the well-known land- 
scape-painter. In 1846, he settled in Amsterdam, 
because he had made so great a success in that 
city with his first portrait. Here he began by paint- 
ing The Prayer^ Puritans at Divine Service and 
The Pilgrim Fathers, which was lost on the way to 
America, but which is known through Alleb6's litho- 
graphic reproduction. He made a name with these 
subjects and people are said to have regretted that 
he was obliged to abandon this style in order to 
execute his many commissions for portraits. We 
prefer, however, to think that the many and great 
admirers of his portraits will have regretted this decree 
of fate as little as did the subsequent generation, 
for this is certain, that, in his later years, his reputation 
was exclusively that of a sensitive portrait- painter, 
capable occasionally of genius. His great merit lies 
in this that, although of German descent, he chose 
Rembrandt, whom he admired above all other Dutch- 
men, as his model from the start. 

Schwartze died in 1874. His chief pupil was his 
talented daughter. Miss Th6rese Schwartze, so well- 
known as a portrait-painter to-day. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE LANDSCAPE AND GENRE- 
PAINTERS 

It is fairly well established nowadays that land- \ 
scape-painting for its own sake is mainly of Dutch J 
origin. And, although we are not prepared to go 
all lengths with Taine's theory of environment, or, at 
any rate, while admitting it in general, to apply it 
to individuals and artists, the cause does probably 
lie in the fact that nowhere, unless it be in Venice, 
do the natural conditions, the climate, the atmosphere, 
the light, the sky and their reflection in the endless 
pieces of water of which the most picturesque regions 
of the Netherlands, the provinces of North and 
South Holland, are at is were composed, nowhere 
do these conditions influence life so strongly as 
with us. The incessant changes of sunshine and 
clouds, the broad shadows of the latter over the 
flat fields, the long twilight, which is never quite 
dispelled indoors, unless a lighted cloud throws a 
sharp reflection from without : these all give a move- 
ment to the landscape, which, just because of this 
endless alternation, remains ever charming to the eye 



The Landscape and Genre-painters 47 

and offers to the eye of the painter in particular 
the greatest and most continuous interest. 

Another reason to prove that landscape-painting 
is of Dutch origin lies in the fact that no country 
was so independent of both religious influences and 
princely patronage as the northern portion of the 
Netherlands; and, even though this does not apply 
to the fifteenth and a part of the sixteenth century, 
the fact that artists were free to paint what found 
favour in their eyes must have had its influence. 

Seeing how closely nature and landscape-painting 
are bound up with the very existence of Dutch art, 
it can be no matter for surprise that, at a time of 
a decline such as that into which official painting 
in general had fallen in our country, there were painters 
at the beginning of the eighteenth century who had 
succeeded in keeping their art untouched by foreign 
influences and who, refusing to deny their kind or the 
traditions of the great centuries, looked at nature 
through their own eyes, through their own masters. 

For, although, after 1870, the Hague school 
of landscape- painting attained a height which one 
could hardly have expected ever to behold again 
after the rich growth of the seventeenth century, 
there were very talented landscape-painters in the 
earlier part of the nineteenth century also ; and, though 
it be true that the new generation but rarely admits 
the worth of that which precedes it, a time was 
bound to come when we should learn to appreciate 
those painters who worthily continued the seventeenth- 
century traditions and who were the precursors of 
the new florescence. If we go further into the lives 
of those painters, we shall find that fame and con- 



48 The Landscape and Genre-painters 

sideration were their portion, both here and abroad. 
And we, who have followed the magnificence of the 
Hague masters with so great an admiration, but who 
have also seen it fade away in feeble imitation of a 
misunderstood emotional power, when occasionally 
we come upon those somewhat antiquated landscapes 
in a museum, at a dealer*s, at an auction sale, in the 
midst of those imitations, of the weaker works of 
to-day, we are struck by their vigour and love of 
nature, by that healthy vigour which was always 
reserved for the greatest. The composition may 
have become a little old-fashioned, the thing repre- 
sented may remain within the limits of an anecdote, 
the influence of the light on the landscape may not 
in general have been so very much the one and 
only moving power as in the last thirty years of 
the nineteenth century, the subject itself may have 
been heavier, the colouring browned over with a 
yellow varnish or blackened through the bitumen 
employed, the filling in may have been made too 
much a matter for separate treatment : this was, when 
all is said, done in obedience to the taste of the 
public, which preferred to buy landscapes with figures 
and animcds, water with accurately- detailed ships upon 
it. None of the painters of that time would have 
been capable of making the reply which Willem 
Maris gave to one who asked him why he always 
painted cows : 

"I never paint cows, but only effects of light." 

The nineteenth century set in with five landscape- 
painters who have shown by the work which they 
left behind them that they never ceased to admire 




LANDSCAPE — D. J. VAN DER LAEN 
{Royal Picture Gallery, Berlin) 



OF THE T^p^ 



The Landscape and Genre-painters. 49 

and study the painting of the seventeenth century. 
And so greatly was this the case that we receive no 
impression of the eighteenth century at all in the better 
part of their work and but little in the remainder. The 
colour and workmanship of two of them was entirely 
in the beautiful manner of the old masters, while 
the arrangement of all of them was quite free of 
that rhetorical side which makes later landscape- 
painters, for all their skill, seem antiquated. Their 
names are, in the order of their births, Jacob van 
Strij, Dirk Jan van der Laen, Jan Kobell, Wouter 
Joannes van Troostwijk and George Pieter Westenberg. 
Jacob van Strij was a native of Dordrecht. He 
was born in 1756 and died in 181 5. His work is 
imbued with admiration for Aelbert Cuyp and he 
introduced Cuyp's colour-schemes so cleverly into 
his work that their pictures were often mistaken for 
one another. Also, the works left behind at his death 
included eleven copies after Cuyp, although it was 
not always a literal copying that he applied to his 
own work. Immerzeel says, as an instance of Van 
Strij's energy: 

" His longing to give a faithful rendering of nature 
was so strong that, however great his physical pain 
(he suffered for many years from gout), he would 
drive over the ice in a sleigh in bleak winter to 
make sketches for pictures which he subsequently 
painted. " 

His landscapes with cattle excel through the warm 
colouring of their sunlight. In a small upper room 
at the Rijksmuseum is a Going to Market^ by Jacob 

4 



50 The Landscape and Genre-painters. 

van Strij, which displays in all its purity the bright 
atmosphere of his vigorous predecessor, although 
the composition is a little too much filled in after 
the Van Berchem manner. He was a pupil of the 
Antwerp Drawing Academy and of the history-painter 
Lens, but he formed himself principally upon his 
studies of nature and the old landscape-painters. His 
work was greatly valued in its day. 

The second, D. J. van der Laen, was born at 
ZwoUe in 1759. He was a member of an old and 
considerable family and was educated at Leiden, 
where, however, he soon left the university for 
Hendrik Meyer's manufactory of hangings. He 
began by painting genre-pieces, but soon confined 
himself more closely to landscape, in which he came 
to excel in so remarkable a degree that Thor6, when 
visiting the Suermondt collection at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
took one of his landscapes for a Vermeer of Delft. * 
The little old house in the middle does certainly 
resemble the little old houses of the great Delft artist 
in the Six Museum, only the composition is fuller and 
the house is overshadowed by a tall tree, behind which 
appears a stretch of dunes in the manner of Wijnants, 
who was much imitated at that time. In the foreground, 
to the left, is an inoffensive "set-off," very usual 
at the period, in the shape of a splintered tree-stump. 
To the right is an outbuilding, set at right angles to 
the house itself and grown over with a vine. Although 



» Dr. Bredius, in 1883, published in Das Zeitschrift fur bildende Kunst 
an article entitled Ein Pseudo- Vermeer in der Konigliche Getndlde-Gallerie^ 
in wLich he showed that this fine little landscape was not a seventeenth- 
century picture, but was painted about 1800 bij Van der Laen. 



The Landscape and Genre-painters. 51 

it reminds one most particularly of Vermeer, this 
little picture, which was bought at the sale of the 
Suermondt collection, suggests by turns Ruysdael, 
Hobbema and Cuyp. But no one suspected that it 
was painted about 1 800. The painting in the Rijks- 
museum is greatly inferior. Van der Laen was a friend 
of Rhijnvis Feiih and drew some illustrations for his 
Fanny. He died in 1829. 

Jan Kobell belongs to a whole generation of Rotter- 
dam artists, all of whom were talented, energetic 
landscape-painters, greatly in demand in their time, 
and all of whom died young, at thirty or forty. 
Jan Kobell, the chief of them, was born at Rot- 
terdam in 1782 and educated at the Jansenist 
orphan asylum at Utrecht. He received lessons in 
painting at the school kept by W. R. van der 
Wall, a son of the Utrecht sculptor and himself a 
painter of landscapes with cattle. After achieving a 
considerable name in his native country, he sent a 
Meadow with three small animals for exhibition in 
Paris in 181 2, which is praised by Landon in his 
Salon of the same year. He now received com- 
mis.sions from France and was really successful, but 
he was over-ambitious and dissatisfied. His mind 
broke down in the following year and he died 
in 1814. 

When we look at Kobell's little pictures in the 
Rijksmuseum, with their charming presentation, their 
careful execution, their restful composition and a 
certain elegiac quality peculiar to his best work, we 
find it difficult to understand this ending to his life. 
He seemed to combine the calm execution of Paul 



52 The Landscape and Genre-painters. 

Potter with something in the composition that reminds 
one of Dujardin or of Adriaan van de Velde. This 
is certain, that he was a cultured painter, who, even 
if he did not look for a certain poetry of expression 
in his landscapes with cattle, achieved it in spite of 
himself. In 1831, one of his paintings, in Professor 
Bleuland's collection, fetched 2,835 guilders. He left 
a number of drawings and a few sensitive, delicate 
littie etchings. 

It has been observed, in connection, with Potter's 
early death, that artists who have been allotted but 
a short span of life often produce as much, or even 
more, in those few years than others who live much 
longer. It is as though they intuitively feel a need 
for haste. This applies not only to Kobell, but also 
to W. J. van Troostwijk, a member of the well-to-do 
class, born in Amsterdam in 1782. He is said to 
have painted for his amusement; but, whether we 
regard him as an amateur or a professional, there 
is no doubt but that he employed his time well. 
He was taught by the brothers Andiiessen, of whom 
the elder had had Quinckhard for his master, and 
began by painting portraits, which he soon abandoned 
for the Potter style, which attracted him more. Two 
of his landscapes in the Rijksmuseum make a really 
astonishing impression in the surroundings amid which 
they are placed. Like Van der Laen's landscape, 
they impress one with their sheer artistic merit, 
their fine, wholesome conception, their true Dutch 
compactness. But, as against the study of the old 
masters which is apparent in the others, we find 
here something more modern, a greater freedom of 




LANDSCAPE IN GELDERLAND — W. J. VAN TROOSTWIJK 
(Rtjksmuseum, Amsterdam) 



' OF THE '''^ 



The Landscape and Genre-painters. 53 

workmanship and ideas. And, although the vigorous 
colouring, the positive conception, the manner of 
execution all betray the proficient painter, there is 
something so very different, so much less artificial 
in the independent choice of subjects as naturally to 
suggest an enthusiastic amateur rather than an 
experienced studio-painter. Again, the sultry blue of 
a summer sky, the deep green of the heavy thatch 
of a sheepfold and the white of the cows display a 
richness of colour which very closely approaches 
the modern and which is found (true, in a more 
complicated scheme) in the Barbizon school. Van 
Troostwijk possessed an originality of ideas that 
made him say: 

" I admire Potter, Dujardin and Van der Velde, 
but I follow only simple and beautiful nature. If 
you wish to compare my work, compare it with 
my earlier efforts or, rather, compare it with nature." 

And, notwithstanding his great dissatisfaction with 
his work, which often he completed only at the bidding 
of his friends, he knew quite well what he wanted: 

"In Potter himself," he once said, "there is 
something which, it seems to me, ought to have 
been different and which Potter himself must have 
felt. But how for ahead of me was this same Potter, 
who died in his twenty-eighth year!" 

Later investigations have shown that Potter lived 
one year longer. Van Troostwijk, however, did die 
in 1810, before attaining the age of twenty-eight. 
He was a talented and, for his period, an astonishing 
painter. His drawings also were in great request 
and, towards the end of his life, he produced a few 
etchings. 



54 The Landscape and Genre-painters. 

The fifth of the group, George Pieter Westenberg, 
offers for our admiration, in his View of Amsterdam 
under Snow, all those qualities of good painting which 
have distinguished landscape-painters at any given time. 
The picture is painted with directness and sobriety ; 
is simply and yet broadly observed, firm and even 
in workmanship, without being laboured, and has the 
depth of penetration of a Ruysdael. Nor need we be 
acquainted with the fact that Westenberg was a great 
expert in the works of our old masters, whom he 
studied here and abroad, to arrive at this knowledge ; 
for, whereas this little picture reminds us of Ruysdael 
and, more particularly, of the wintry view in the 
Dupper collection, the town-view in Teyler's Museum 
as powerfully suggests Vermeer of Delft, not only 
through the character and treatment of the little old 
houses, but also through a certain yellow and blue in 
the jackets of the women sitting on the door-steps. 

Westenberg was born at Nijmegen in 1791 and 
came to Amsterdam in 1808, where he was taught 
by Jan Hulswit (i 766-1822), a tapestry- painter 
whose drawings in the style of Ostade and Beer- 
straten were often greatly appreciated. He, in his 
turn, had as his pupils his kinsman Kasper Karsen 
(18 1 0-1896), a deserving painter of landscapes and 
town-pieces, George Andries Roth (1809- 1884), 
Hendrik Gerrit ten Gate (1803-1856) and Hendrik 
Jacobus Scholten, mentioned in the following chapter. 
In 1838, he was appointed director of the Museum 
of Modern Art in the Pavilion at Haarlem. We do 
not know whether he failed to make a sufficient 
living as a painter, but in 1857 he resigned his 
post and went to Java with his family to fill a 






'TV 



^^^ OF THE ^r 

UNIVERSITY 




< ^ 



The Landscape and Genre-painters. 55 

civil appointment in Batavia. He died at Brummen 
in 1873. 

More important than Westenberg is Nicolaas Bauer, 
who was born at Harlingen in 1767 and died at 
the same Frisian village in 1820. He was taught 
by his father, a portrait-painter, began his career as 
a tapestry-painter, but afterwards painted town-views 
and landscapes. A view of Amsterdam seen from 
the IJ and one of Rotterdam from the Maas belong 
to his best works. There is a pleasant freshness 
and movement in these little pieces, combined with 
a striking originality of conception and colour. 

There were many Frisian painters at that period, 
including Willem Bartel van der Kooi, who was 
born at Augustinusga in 1768 and who made a 
name as a portrait-painter at the Hague and Ghent. 
His masters were, first, a skilful amateur called 
Verrier and, later, Beekkerk, the painter. Things 
went differently in those days: it appears that con- 
centration upon one's deliberately chosen profession 
was not always deemed essential; at any rate, he 
abandoned his art in 1795 to become the represent- 
ative of the electors of Friesland and afterwards in 
favour of various political appointments. These, 
however, may have belonged to the sinecures that 
were very common at the end of the eighteenth 
century; for, in 1804, Van der Kooi went on an 
art-journey to Dusseldorf, where he copied portraits 
by Van Dijck and made so much progress that, in 
1 808, his picture, A Lady ivith a Footman ha7iding a 
Letter, won the 2,oooguilder prize at the exhibition. 



56 The Landscape and Genre-painters. 

This piece is now at the Rijksmuseum and is no 
more than pale coloured plaster. The Town-hall 
at Haarlem has a portrait by him which has something 
in common with Jan Adam Kruseman*s Portrait of 
Himself although it is much weaker. He died in 1837. 

Johannes Jelgerhuis Rienkzn. was born in 1770 
at Leeuwarden and was taught drawing by his father, 
Rienk Jelgerhuis, and painting by Pieter Barbiers Pz. 
( 1 748-1842), the landscape-painter. The father, cis I 
have said in an earlier chapter, was best known for his 
pastel and crayon portraits ; the son painted portraits 
and interiors. We find pictures and drawings by 
this artist in different collections and even at this 
date his picture in the Rijksmuseum, The Bookshop 
of P. Meijer Warnars S strikes one by the typical 
representation, which, although simpler, does not 
differ greatly from the concrete manner in which 
De Brakeleer treated similar subjects. His Apothecary 
is in the same manner, entirely excellent, very 
graphically and at the same time concretely executed 
and yet astonishingly simple. His View of the Choir 
in the New Churchy Amsterdam was greatly praised 
at the time. He died at Haarlem in 1836. 

Less stimulating than Jelgerhuis, but excellent genre- 
painters, were Wybrandt Hendriks (i 744-1 831) and 
Adriaan de Lelie (i 755-1820), both of whom have 
left interiors which, while lacking all the concen- 
tration of light, all the fine atmosphere in which, in 

* Johannes Jelgerhuis, who for many years was an actor at the 
Amsterdam Theatre as well as a painter, wrote a work on gesticulation 
and nimicry which was published by Meijer Warnars in 1827. 



'^'VERSITY 

OF 



:THE. " 

.•LIFOV0^ 




NOTARY KOHNE AND HIS CLERK — W. HENDRIKS 
(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) 



The Landscape and Genre-painters. 57 

the old masters, the figures move so naturally and 
freely, still have something that connects them with 
the older pictures. Hendriks, an Amsterdammer by 
birth, painted landscapes, portraits, corporation- and 
family-pieces and still- life pictures of game and flowers. 
His Woman reading, in Teyler's Museum, bears a 
distant resemblance to a Metsu. He is more original 
in his portrait of Notary Kolme and his Clerk, whom 
he painted in their own environment, at full-length, 
but in small dimensions. This little piece, which 
has nothing in common with the seventeenth century, 
hangs at the Rijksmuseum beside a genre-painting 
by Quinckhard. It is blacker in tone, but surpasses 
it in originality and distinction. To judge by the 
prices fetched by his works after his death, his views 
of towns, or rather streets, were esteemed more highly 
than his interiors. The reason may, however, be due to 
topographical considerations. Hendriks was, for more 
than thirty years, steward of Teyler's Institute and 
superintendent of the collection of pictures attached to it. 

Although Adriaan de Lelie was, in many respects, 
far behind Hendriks, he was a deserving painter of 
interiors. He was born at Tilburg, studied at Antwerp 
and Diisseldorf and settled in Amsterdam, where he 
painted mainly interiors, portraits and family and 
corporation-pieces. His works are to be found in 
the principal collections and were also valued and 
sought after by foreigners. The Fodor Museum has 
a Cook by him which, although somewhat empty 
and rather flat and narrow in the face, is, like the 
Woman making Cakes in the Rijksmuseum, a well- 
painted, well-composed picture. 



CHAPTER V 

THE FORERUNNERS OF THE 
HAGUE SCHOOL 

The Van Os family of painters, of whom Jan, 
the oldest (i 744-1808), his son Georgius Johannes 
Jacobus (i 782-1861), the flower-painter, and the 
latter*s brother Pieter Gerardus (i 776-1839), the 
cattle-painter, were the best known, can boast of 
good qualities in spite of the fact that each of its 
members now counts mainly as a master of later 
generations. In addition to the above, there were 
Pieter Frederik (1808- 1860), a son of the last- 
named, and Margaretha (i 780-1 862), a sister of 
the same Pieter Gerardus, completing a painting 
family of five that covers the period between 1744 
and 1862, over a century in all. The father, Jan 
van Os, was a painter of flowers, but was far sur- 
passed by his son and pupil, who, in some respects, 
may be called an excellent flower-painter. His pic- 
tures of still-life and flowers were much sought after 
and one of them fetched 5,650 guilders at auction 
in 1845. His brother, Pieter Gerardus, also made 
a name for himself. He painted in the manner of 




WOMAN MAKING CAKES — A. DE LELIE 

{Rijksmuscum, Amsterdam) 



OF THE 



The Forerunners of the Hague School. 59 

Potter and, though he received his earliest lessons 
from his father, he formed himself, by industrious 
copying, upon his illustrious model. His incidents 
of the Siege of Naarden, in which he took part as 
a volunteer, are more important than the ordinary 
historical pieces of his time ; and there is something 
spontaneous in his Cossack Outpost which almost 
recalls Breitner in the unity between the landscape 
and the group of soldiers. His chief pupils are 
Wouterus Verschuur (i 8 12-1874), Simon van den 
Berg (18 1 2-1 891), who left some cabinet- pieces 
not devoid of feeling, Guillaume Anne van der 
Brugghen (1811-1891), a fine dog-painter, whose 
studies remind one of Maris, and Jan van Raven- 
swaay (1789- 1869), who continued his master's 
ideas, while Pieter Frederik, his son, became the 
valued master of Mauve, whose early work con- 
stantly betrays the influence of Van Os. As in the 
case of his more famous father, the arrangement of 
his pictures was inspired principally by Potter and 
not always by that painter's best side. He seemed 
to prefer to take the composition from the left — 
the spectator's left — of Paul Potter's Young BuUm the 
Mauritshuis, variations on which are continually found 
in Mauve's early drawings. In any case, though 
Van Os may have been deficient in pictorial instinct, 
it is pretty certain that both Mauve and his fellow- 
pupil, J. H. L. de Haas, must have learnt much 
from him in the anatomy of cows and sheep. 

In this respect, perhaps Hendrik van de Sande 
Bakhuijzen showed better work. Born at the Hague 
in 1 795, he was the pupil successively of S. A. Krausz 



6o The Forerunners of the Hague School. 

(i 760-1 825), a Hague painter and a pupil of 
L. Defrance of Li^ge, of J. W. Pieneman and his 
pupil J. Heymans and of the Hague Sketching Club. 
He did not possess Kobell's gifts of agreeable and 
distinguished composition, but he was a good 
draughtsman and painted his pictures with simplicity. 
His landscapes are entirely free from mannerism and 
artificiality ; and, if they contain no trace of feeling 
and as little merit of colour, at least we find not an 
atom of borrowed sensibility or borrowed colour in 
the pictures of this honest landscape-painter. He 
had many pupils : Willem Roelofs, the pioneer, who 
first came from Barbizon to tell of the beauty of 
nature as seen through the painter's temperament; 
Jan Willem van Borselen, who loved to paint those 
blustering moments when the colourless side of the 
leaves is blown upwards by the wind and who 
produced excellently-painted and daintily-conceived 
little pictures on panels smaller than a man's hand ; 
Jacob Jan van der Maaten (1820-1879), whose 
Cornfield in the Hague Museum shows that he was 
an attentive, if not an emotional painter; Christiaan 
Immerzeel, born in 1808, who painted romantic, 
but feeble moonlight scenes; Jan Frederik and 
Willem Anthonie van Deventer (182 2- 1866 and 1824- 
1893), of whom the first was a landscape-painter 
and the second a deserving painter of sea and river- 
views. Hendrik van de Sande Bakhuijzen died 
in 1864. 

When we look at the sea-pieces of Johannes 
Christianus Schotel (i 787-1838) at the Rijksmuseum, 
we are inevitably reminded of the Pienemans and 




2 I 

§ I 

o 



/I, Or ^ 



UNIVERSITY 

OF 1 



The Forerunners of the Hague School 6 1 

Krusemans. Any objects that have not to do with 
pure painting are perfect and those qualified to judge 
have said that his ships are equipped with so much 
technical accuracy and ride the waters so admirably 
that the most expert skipper could not improve upon 
them. Small wonder that he enjoyed the same 
esteem as the painters of le grand art. It is true 
that his skies were often out of harmony with the 
sea and appeared to be made of cardboard and that 
the water displayed more paint than transparency; 
still, he was a thoughtful painter, who cleverly sup- 
ported the movement of his ships by the composition 
of the waves and knew how to put a picture together. 
These qualities appear particularly in his drawings, 
which surprise us agreably with the untrammelled 
outlook, the firmness of the execution and the 
majestic effects which, seated in his boat and drawing 
direct from nature, he often succeeded in attaining. 
Here we see none of that antiquated soapy hardness 
or hard soapiness which clings to all his painted work 
however clever the latter may be. His first master was 
the Dordrecht candle-light painter Adriaan Meulemans 
( 1 766-1835) and he received his artistic training 
at the hands of Martinus Schouman (i 770-1 841), 
the best sea-painter of his time. His pictures often 
fetched considerable prices and his success descended, 
in a certain measure, to his son and pupil Petrus 
Johannes Schotel (1808- 1865). 

A sea-painter of the same school was Johan Hendrik 
Louis Meijer, who was born at Amsterdam in 18 10, 
studied under Pieter Westenberg and, later, under 
J. W. Pieneman, lived for some years at Deventer, 



62 The Forerunners of the Hague School 

settled in Paris in 1841 and afterwards moved to 
the Hague, where he died in 1 866. At the commence- 
ment of his career, he used to introduce history- 
painting into his sea-pieces, but seldom to such an 
extent as to interfere with his seeking for good effects 
of light. He was a very systematic and successful 
painter. Among his pupils he may be said to include 
Jacob Maris, who, however, really attended his studio 
rather to assist him with his seascapes, and, in any 
case, Matthijs Maris, although Meijer told the latter, 
when he came this studio as a child of ten, that 
there was nothing that he could teach him, for Thijs 
knew everything. 

Andreas Schelfhout formed himself as a landscape- 
painter upon Meijer's seascapes. He was bom at 
the Hague in 1787 and worked until his twenty- 
fourth year in the shop of his father, who was a 
, maker of picture-frames, devoting his spare hours to 
painting. A landscape which he exhibited in 18 15 
was seen to possess something out of the ordinary 
and this was confirmed by a Wintry Vieiv exhibited 
a couple of years later. Some of his earlier land- 
scapes display a certain freshness of idea, nor should 
any painter generally be judged exclusively by the 
work of his later years. Schelfhout's first little pictures 
often impress us by the original colouring of their 
skies, by the reflection of those skies in the cold 
blue of the frozen water below, even though the smooth 
and unreal treatment lead us to entertain a not 
un mingled appreciation of his merits. He was an 
indefatigable worker, never wasting a moment, and 
achieved a certain reputation beyond the confines 




II 



O g 

§1 



UNIVERSITY 

^ Of ." 




Q § 



The Forerunners of the Hague School 63 

of his own country. As late as 1870, most collectors 
thought themselves fortunale to possess one of his 
ice-pieces. And his colouring— I am speaking of his 
best period — undoubtedly entitles him to take rank 
among the founders of the modern landscape school. 
Schelfhout died at the Hague in 1870. His chief 
pupil was Jongkind, who for many years was unable 
to free himself from his master's method. He also 
taught Nuyen, whom I will mention below, Jan 
Bedijs Tom, the animal-painter, Charles Henri Joseph 
Leickert, born in 18 18, who also painted under 
Nuyen, but never achieved any considerable distinc- 
tion, and Dubourcq, a deserving Amsterdam land- 
scape-painter. 

Wijnand Jan Joseph Nuyen was born at the Hague 
in 1 813. There have perhaps been few painters 
who roused such confident hopes in their fellow- 
artists as did Nuyen; few young artists — Nuyen died 
in 1839, in his twenty-seventh year — who were so 
greatly mourned for the sake both of their own 
personality and of their promising work; few who, 
at so young an age, wielded so great and so seductive 
an influence over their contemporaries. The young 
Catholic painter possessed more of the true artist's 
passion than his contemporaries : most of his pictures 
in spite of their treacly brown, display a yearning 
for colour, a search for the splendid, a groping after 
the romanticism of the middle ages that inspired all 
his work and induced others to follow in his 
footsteps. 

He has left church-porches in which the persons 
streaming out of the edifice count not as separate 



64 The Forerunners of the Hague School 

figures, but as a connected group, lit up by a warm 
and life-giving sun. He also painted river-scenes 
in the style of his friend Waldorp, less pretty, 
perhaps, but also much less illustration-like. One 
of these river-scenes, known sometimes as Le Coup 
de Catiotiy is in the Wallace collection in London. 
He also painted many admirable Gothic church- 
interiors. 

His short life was one mighty effort, one incessant 
artistic enthusiasm, of a kind which had not been 
known in recent years. It seems surprising that he 
should have had Rochussen for a pupil, if we 
remember only the latter's illustrative talent. But 
many a little painting of Rochussen's shows a rela- 
tionship with Nuyen — minus the brown sauce; and, 
when all is said, are not the wagon and horses in 
Nuyen's 0/d Mill in the Hague Museum typical and 
illustrative in the best sense? 

Antonie Waldorp (i 803-1 866) was a pupil of 
Breckenheimer's, whom he helped in his scene- 
painting, and it was not until after his marriage, in 
his twenty-third year, with the sister of his fellow- 
pupil Bart van Hove, that he began to apply 
himself entirely to the practice of painting proper, 
executing various subjects : church-interiors, portraits 
and domestic interiors. When he reached the age 
of thirty-five, he confined himself more particularly 
to river-scenes, for which he had a great reputation 
in his time. He was a friend of Nuyen, with whom 
he took a journey to Germany and Belgium, and it 
is not improbable that, although his young and more 
gifted friend was ten years his junior, Waldorp was 




THE OLD MILL — W. J. J. NUYEN 
{Municipal Museum, the Hague) 



UNI 






• THE ' 

UNIVERSITY 




A CHURCH — B. J. VAX HOVE 
[Boymans' Museum, Rotterdam) 



The Forerunners of the Hague School 65 

nevertheless influenced by Nuyen in his choice of 
subjects and especially in their romantic conception. 
Although Waldorp's river-scenes are painted in too 
treacly a fashion to find much favour in our days, 
although their shadows show signs of affectation, we 
are bound, on the other hand, to recognize a certain 
freedom of treatment and a well-considered com- 
position. 

Of much greater importance than Schelfhout to 
nineteenth-century painting was the Hague scene- 
painter Bartholomeus Johannes van Hove (1790- 
1880), who may be described as the foundation upon 
which a whole generation of artists has built, either 
directly through himself or indirectly through his son 
and pupil Hubertus van Hove. There are little pictures 
of his, representing churches seen from the entrance 
to the choir, which anticipate his pupil Bosboom; 
and, while he displayed a certain grandeur in his 
acceptance of his art, although he is not to be 
compared with his pupil, he was an excellent instruc- 
tor, who, following the good traditions, directed 
the art of painting into another and wider channel. 

B. J. van Hove, like most scene-painters, was a 
Jack-of-all-trades. He painted a complete set of 
scenery for the theatre at Nijmegen, where the curtain 
is admired to this day; for the Hague he designed 
the side-scenes for The Wreck of the Medusa, which 
are considered his best stage work. In this his 
pupils assisted him and it is quite possible that, in 
so doing, they acquired that boldness and breadth 
in painting which they could never have learnt from 
Van Hove the painter of town-views. As a lad, he 



66 The Forerunners of the Hague School 

had begun with engraving ; afterwards he worked 
under his father, who was a frame-maker and also 
did a little engraving, and through him he became 
acquainted with the scene-painter of the Hague 
Theatre, J. H. A. A. Breckenheimer, who trained 
him in his own art. Van Hove's little pictures, 
mostly town-views, were much valued in their time 
and, though there is no question of direct drawing 
and the colouring is feeble, yet, in the general 
conception of his subject, usually a piece of a large 
church, he undoubtedly proves himself a precursor 
of Bosboom. His seventieth birthday was splendidly 
celebrated at the theatre and by Pulchri Studio, the 
well-known artists' club, which presented him with 
an inscribed silver goblet. That uncommonly gifted 
singer, Mrs. Offermans-van Hove, pressed a crown 
of laurels on his silvered brow. He Hved to be 
nearly ninety years of age. His chief pupils were 
Bosboom, Sam Verveer, H. J. Weissenbruch, Ever- 
ardus Koster (i 8 17-1892), who painted river-scenes 
in the manner of Waldorp, but whose drawings of 
Gothic architecture rank higher, and his eldest son 
Hubertus. 

Hubertus or Huib van Hove (18 19-1865) was 
taught painting not only by his father, but also by 
Van de Sande Bakhuijzen and, though he constantly 
kept pace with Bosboom and painted churches in 
the latter's manner, he started as a landscape-painter. 
But the force of this none too forcible painter lay 
in neither of these two styles. His love of colour 
and bright light was best displayed in his so-called 
doorktjkjes, or domestic vistas, in the style of Pieter 




THE KNITTER — HUBERT VAN HOVE 
{Jeylefs Institute, Haarlem) 



The Forerunners of the Hague School 6 7 

de Hooche, that is to say, views of outdoor light 
seen through an interior, a room or kitchen situated 
between the street-door and an inner yard. Teyler's 
Museum possesses an excellent specimen in The 
Knitter, a picture which, although it lacks all the 
essence of his sublime model, is of a lively composition 
and shows an inclination for a stronger and fresher 
colouring than prevailed in Van Hove's day. 

Among his pupils were Jacob Maris, Christoffel 
Bisschop, Stroebel, Maurits Leon (i 838-1 865), who 
died so young and whose Interior of a Synagogue, 
although not his best-known work, aroused great 
expectations at the time, and Hendricus Johannes 
Scheeres (i 823-1 864), who continued his master's 
teaching in his Armourer and Linen-shop and who 
enjoyed the appreciation of his brother-artists. He, 
also, died too young to establish his name. 

A painter who rendered excellent service to Dutch 
art not only through his own performances, but also 
by his influence upon his pupils was Petrus Fran- 
ciscus Greive, who was born in Amsterdam in 1 8 1 1 
and died in 1872. He was "a painter to the 
bottom of his heart, " as his contemporaries used to 
call him, and was closely related to Huib van Hove 
in his love for Hooche-like interiors. But, whereas 
neither of them really had anything to speak of in 
common with Pieter de Hooche, Greive had not the 
command of light, shade and colour that was after- 
wards to distinguish the Hague painter. It is true 
that the enormous number of his lessons prevented him 
from quite coming into his own as a painter; and, 
moreover, he started in much less favourable circum- 



68 The Forerunners of the Hague School 

stances than Huib van Hove. In the first place, 
his master, the feeble history- painter Christiaan Julius 
Lodewijk Portman (i 799-1867), was not to be 
compared with B. J. van Hove either for his old- 
Dutch cabinet-pieces or for his composition and 
workmanship. And then the difference between his 
surroundings and those at the Hague amid which 
Bosboom, Huib van Hove's fellow-pupil, worked! 
Nevertheless, the Rijksmuseum possesses of this 
estimable artist, who was perhaps more of a draughts- 
man than a painter, an Old- Dutch Serving-maid^ in 
a De Hooche setting, which lacks nothing except 
truth to life, while Teyler's Museum has a Marken 
Interior which contains more movement and which, 
as regards the subject, reminds one rather of Jozef 
Israels' more romantic period. 

Greive is of most importance to our own period 
through his pupil Alleb6. He had many others, 
including Leon, whom I have already named, Diederik 
Franciscus Jamin (i 838-1 865), who died young 
and who, within the bounds of a Hmited talent, was 
full of promise, Hendrik Jacobus Scholten, bom in 
1824, who excelled in the depicting of satin and also 
painted from a more emotional point of view, in 
addition to his nephew, Johan Conrad Greive Jr. 
(i 837-1 891), who became known as a painter of 
river-scenes with barges and of views on the IJ. 

Barend Cornells Koekkoek (i 803-1 862) was 
esteemed as highly as a landscape-painter in his time 
as Jacob Maris in ours. Although he is now antiquated 
and out of fashion, his value remains. And this is 
not without good reason. When hung between 



The Forerunners of the Hague School 69 

indifferent works by modern landscape-men, his work 
impresses the spectator by its power, by the firm 
and correct construction of the trees, by the broad, 
natural growth of the leaves and boughs, by the 
careful and elaborate reproduction of the wooded 
landscape, even though the representation be, as I 
have said, antiquated and somewhat cold. He seems 
to have based his method by turns upon Hobbema 
and Wijnands, but mainly upon the latter, while he 
lacked the simple distinction of his illustrious models, 
however excellent he may have been in the portrayal 
of heavy trees. His best pieces are those which 
show but little of the open air, for the landscape 
fell more within his scope than the sky, which in 
his pictures often suggests scene-painting. 

B. C. Koekkoek was a native of Middelburg ; he 
was the eldest son of Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek 
(i 778-1 851), a well-known sea and river-painter, 
who, after learning his trade in a tapestry- factory, 
formed himself by studying from nature and after- 
wards brought up all his sons — he had four, of 
whom, after Barend, Hermanus was the best-known — 
as painters. Our Koekkoek did not confine himself 
to the landscape of his own country and found the 
scenes that best satisfied his taste in the Harz 
Mountains, the Rhine Provinces, Belgium and, parti- 
cularly, in Gelderland and the Cleves district. His 
work was greatly valued and highly paid in Paris, 
Brussels and St. Petersburg. 

Johannes Warnardus Bilders (181 1- 1890) was 
born at Utrecht and took lessons from Jan Lodewijk 
Jonxis ( 1 789-1866). In the phrase of that time, 



70 The Forerunners of the Hague School 

however, "nature," or, more correctly, "his own 
genius was his best master." After a course of travels 
in Germany, he settled down at Oosterbeek, which 
had not yet become a " park" of villas and " de- 
sirable residences. " In 1854, he went to Amsterdam, 
where his friend N. Pieneman, Schwartze, who had 
already made his name, and their junior, Jozef Israels, 
were living. Bilders had exhibited for the first time 
in 1 840 ; Schwartze's first work was shown between 
1845 ^"d 1850; Israels had exhibits his Aaron 
in Amsterdam in 1854, painted his romantic By 
Mother's Grave in 1856 and followed this up in 1858 
with his well-known Little Knitter and, somewhat 
later, with that little master-piece of romanticism. 
After the Storm. 

I doubt whether Bilders' great talent ever reached 
its full development. He stood alone, absolutely 
alone. The phlegmatic painters who were content 
slavishly to copy nature, the eminent painters of 
fields and cattle had little or nothing in common 
with him and the studies which were sold at the 
auction held in the studio of the late Mrs. Bilders- 
van Bosse, his second wife, prove that he felt a 
longing for more colour, that, directly or indirectly, 
he had experienced the influence of a Delacroix. 
At any rate, there were some among them which 
exhibited a great tendency towards modern methods 
with their sharp colour-scheme, into which no bitumen, 
no brown sauce entered to spoil the clearness of the 
impression conveyed. 

As his pupils, I may name his son, Albert Gerard 
Bilders, who died young, and Miss Marie van Bosse, 
who afterwards became his wife. I will return both 




1 1 

< S 
W Q 

^ I 

b 
I-) 
O 




J 




w 



The Forerunners of the Hague School 7 1 

to the former, who proved himself a pioneer, if not 
by his painting, at least by recording his wishes 
and longings in the matter of the painter's art, and 
to the latter, who was a well-known landscape-painter. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE MASTERS OF THE CABINET 
PICTURE 

David Bles was the foremost painter at the Hague 
when Jozef Israels was feeling his way in Amsterdam, 
from 1854 to 1864, and when Bosboom, at the 
Hague, was following the road which he had seen 
clearly before him from the beginning. Israels has 
described how honoured he felt when, as a promising 
painter, he was permitted to walk round an exhibition 
arm in arm with Bles and how lucky he thought 
himself to receive a word of approval from the great 
man, who, nevertheless, told him pretty frankly that 
he did not understand the so-called poetry in Israels* 
painting and that, for the rest, he had never under- 
stood what poetry and painting had in common. 

Nor was this to be expected from our rather 
cynical artist, with his humorous subjects borrowed, 
to a great extent, from la vie galante. He was a 
clever draughtsman and a good painter, who improved 
upon the soapy method of his time by means of 
cunning after-touches, smart strokes and powerful 
shadows and who placed his cleverly-conceived little 




FIGURE OF A WOMAN — DAVID BLES 

(Municipal Museum, Amsterdam) 



The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 73 

figures freely and spaciously and yet in such a way 
that the action was concentrated and the point of 
his anecdote invariably realized. Still, he was in 
every respect the very opposite of an Israels or a 
Bosboom, though he was artist enough to entertain 
a great respect for the work of the latter. 

Born at the Hague in 182 1, he first studied, for 
three years, under Cornelis Kruseman and afterwards 
worked in Paris in Robert Fleury's studio. At a 
very early age, he painted, under the influence of 
his first master and even more under that of the 
romanticism of his day, such genre-pieces as a 
Savoyard Hurdy-gurdy Girl, an Hungarian Mousetrap- 
vendor^ or else he made offerings to history in the 
shape of a Rubens and young Teniers or a Paul 
Potter taking his afternoon Walk, until, after his return 
from Paris, at twenty-two, he found himself soon 
devoting his powers to those littie anecdotal paintings 
which attained so widespread a fame both in his 
own country and abroad. 

His subjects were taken from our middle-class 
moral life. He almost created a special type of 
soubrette, with roguish, ogling brown eyes, tiny 
fingers and dainty, neatly-rounded figures. He began 
at a time when brunettes were in fashion, at a time 
when one half of the public went mad about the 
tear on the cheek of a Monica, while the other half, 
brought up on French literature, enjoyed the smallest 
suggestion of a double entente. It was also the time 
when collectors attached importance to a picture 
according to the number of pretty figures of women 
which it contained, the time when they would put 
their littie paintings on the table before them in order 



74 The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 

to examine them at their ease, discuss the qualities 
and the expression and, magnifying-glass in hand, 
smack their lips over the piquancy of the anecdote 
represented. It goes without saying that so-called 
miniature-painting was then in great favour ; but the 
carefully- executed subjects, details and figures, the 
natural poses, lively presentation and warm colouring 
and, especially, the clever little lights and touches, 
so very comformable with the spirit of the subject, 
are all qualities which we can even now afford to 
appreciate. 

And yet his sketches, heightened with sepia, often 
show something that attracts us still more. A 
swiftly-grasped movement, such as that of a girl 
pulling on her slipper with one finger, bending 
slighty aside, her shoulder thrust back in the doing 
of it; a flute-player; a soubrette hurrying past on 
her high heels ; a fragile figure of a woman recovering 
after her confinement (in the completed picture, the 
young husband bends over her, while a healthy 
peasant-woman nurses the child) : these are the figures 
in his sketches, which we find repeated in his favourite 
subjects, reproduced in a bright, life-like and 
natural style. 

A time came, a time was bound to come when 
people had had enough of these anecdotes, of these 
stories in paint, when they were no longer able to 
laugh at the ready-made gaiety of these pieces. This 
was the time when the masters of the Hague school 
offered their inner vision for our contemplation instead 
of an anecdote, when the depth of emotion of the 
Barbizon painters, the epic simplicity of Millet, the 
large view of nature of Daubigny, the more rugged 




THE NINTH DAY — DAVID BLES 

{Municipal Museum, Amsterdam) 



The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 75 

greatness of Rousseau and the tortured Dupr6, as 
contrasted with the classic Corot, made their influence 
felt. It was the time, too, when the Marises, with 
the magnificence of their conception of things, against 
which Bles seemed so trivial, and with their purity 
and their wealth of colour, when Israels, with the 
biblical grandeur of his interiors, Bosboom, with the 
sober stateliness of his churches. Mauve, with his 
simplicity, saw the world from a nobler standpoint 
and rendered in pure plastic form not so much 
external objects as the depths of their own feeling. 

Time is just. 

The pictorial qualities for which, at this or that 
time, a given painter has been valued remain the 
same. His good qualities are often thrust into the 
background, because of a change in the accepted 
formula ; but, at each new turn of the road we catch 
a fresh glimpse of the former period, which is then 
weighed and frequently valued anew. But what can 
never be made good is the sorrow that must needs 
be felt by a painter who, after passing through years 
of triumph, is forgotten in his own lifetime. David 
Bles died in 1899, too early to witness the revo- 
lution which has once more enabled us to see what 
was good in the days before the coming of the 
great Hague men. 

If we place David Bles side by side with Bakker 
Korfif, the Leiden painter (and there is due reason 
for the comparison), we feel inclined to compare the 
subjects of the first with a spicy French farce and 
those of the other with a drawing-room play at a 
girls boarding-school, performed mainly for the sake 



76 The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 

of the " dressing-up" involved. David Bles's pictures 
are seldom complete without some allusion to la vit 
galante aforesaid, whereas Bakker Korffs afford a 
genial laugh at the affectation of the pompous and 
stately old spinsters, with their scent-bottles, bonbon- 
boxes and fiddle-faddles, continuing the greatness of 
their forefathers in the sumptuous decoration of their 
houses, chatting and enjoying themselves with friends 
who resemble them in every respect, waxing senti- 
mental over a forgotten ballad, sitting rapt in admira- 
tion round a fine fuchsia or a bowl of gold fish, talking 
scandal, arch, simple, but always with a suggestion 
of that same "dressing-up" and always seen with 
the eyes of a painter of still-Hfe. It is in this that 
the value of these little panels lies. The Saxony 
soup- tureens, the lacquered Chinese urn-stands, the 
flounced skirts, the black silk aprons, the costly 
tea-services, the motley carpets, all reproduced with 
cunning touches of colour in a dignified, eighteenth- 
century living-room, the faces with the prominent 
noses, the little curls on the temples and all the 
coquettish gestures of the old belles who had been 
flirts in their day, the delicious effects of light, which 
Bakker Korff employed so sparingly, but to such 
good surpose, the firm painting and witty brush- 
work, with something of Meissonier in the drawing : 
all these cause him to rank perhaps a little higher 
than David Bles, even though the latter displays 
more variety in his subjects, more expression in his 
figures and more point in his anecdotes. 

Alexander Hugo Bakker Korff was born at the 
Hague in 1829, attended C. Kruseman*s studio 
together with David Bles, H. ten Kate, Jan and 




o ^ 

< M 



/ ^ or THE ' 



The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 77 

Philip Koelman and Vintcent, took lessons under 
J. E. J. van den Berg at the Hague Academy and 
afterwards worked in the studio of Huib van Hove. 
His first pictures consisted of biblical and historical 
subjects: life-size figures, exacted by the classic 
painters in imitation of the antique statues, as though 
there were no salvation outside the giant cartoon. 
He excelled to better purpose in smaller compositions 
drawn with the pen, after the manner of Rethel 
and Flaxman. And, soon, driven to the painting 
of miniature-pieces either because of his near-sight- 
edness or because of the taste of the day, we find 
him at Oegstgeest, far from all schools of art, 
taking up that genre-painting in which he was es- 
sentially himself and for which his unmarried sisters 
sat as voluntary models. Although the pictures with 
many figures are more interesting, I prefer the 
single figures for their colour-scheme: it is more 
unconstrained and often contains more tone. I 
know a little piece in which a portly person of the 
middle-class, in pink cotton, is mending a calico 
coverlet. The woman in this bright pink contrasting 
with her black apron, with the many-coloured coverlet 
on her lap, against the elaborate background of an 
old-fashioned kitchen, or else a single delicate little 
figure, all in white against a rich background : these 
are the pictures that stand highest as specimens of 
his powers. He is also admirable in such pieces 
as The Mischief- makers The School for Scandal^ The 
Fuchsia, while, of his larger works, The Ballad is 
perhaps best- known, because of the engraving. Less 
well-known is a still-Hfe picture of fine glass seen 
against a mirror, a problem which seems hardly 



78 The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 

solvable, but which he was nevertheless able cleverly to 
decipher. Bakker Korff himself regarded this as his 
best work. He died in 1882 and, though his work too 
was disregarded for a time, it is now valued more 
highly than that of Bles. It is something that both 
escaped the soapy influence of Cornells Kruseman. 

As much cannot be said of Bakker Korff's pupil 
Herman Frederik Karel ten Kate (1822-1891). 
His pictures illustrative of the Eighty Years' War 
appear, at first sight, to be treated in lively fashion 
and a certain roughness of colour gives them a 
spurious air of strength. But, on reconsideration, 
everything about them — the colour, the workman- 
ship, the composition — becomes tedious and nothing 
remains but a considerable adroitness. His soldiers, 
clad in mail or jerkin, endowed with huge jack- boots, 
drinking, dicing, courting the wench at the inn, are 
all cut from one pattern and, though we know that 
their costumes are authentic, they remain stage 
characters in a stage scene. Herman ten Kate's 
was an affected method. He lacked the certainty 
of workmanship which give Bles's subjects their 
pictorial value. Nevertheless, his work was greatly 
sought after and he was personally highly respected. 

Johan Mari ten Kate, born in 183 1, his younger 
brother and pupil, borrowed his subjects from child- 
life ; his work is often weak and, at the same time, 
a little exaggerated in the conception of it. Mari 
ten Kate's best work consists of the studies which 
he made at Marken with his brother Herman. 




COMPULSORY INTERCOURSE — A. ALLEBE 
{The property of Mr. T. G. Dentz van Schaick, Amsterdam) 



'. UNIVERS/TY 



The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 79 

Alleb6 may be regarded as the fine painter who 
closes one period and introduces a new one. He 
belongs to the anecdotal painters in so far as his 
subjects are concerned, while the composition and 
the execution of his best works approach very near 
to the finest that we possess. It is owing to the 
distinguished quality of his talent that this artist, 
who, for some years, has practically ceased production, 
is rated perhaps even more highly in this twentieth 
century than when he was most constantly at work. 

Alleb6 is a born painter of cabinet-pieces. These 
are well-considered compositions, often endowed with 
a touch of anecdote, at times romantic, but rarely 
sentimental. One would have to collect all his works 
together in order to trace any sort of gradual de- 
velopment. To judge from what we know — and this 
is constantly increasing in volume in proportion as 
our admiration increases of late years — he is one of 
those artists who confirm the rule that a man is either 
an artist or not. All that we do know is distinguished 
by a certain completeness. The subjects are interiors 
such as that with the little old Brabant woman winding 
up her clock, a more or less witch- like type which 
he repeated later and strengthened by adding one 
of those tortuous, stretching cats which often recur 
in his work. Would you see how a little picture 
such as this is painted? You can tell neither where it 
begins nor where it ends. Muther once said of Menzel 
that he added up with too many small figures. The same 
remark, differently applied, might be made regarding 
Alleb6, were it not that every detail of the treatment 
in his case is covered with so delicate a gloss, 
while all those tiny dots of colour are mingled so 



8o The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 

inextricably that it is hopeless to look for any 
weakness. 

From the point of view of the effective distnibution 
of light, The Well-watched Child at the Rijksmuseum 
stands highest of all Alleb6's pictures. The subject 
is an old-fashioned farm-house, containing dwelling 
and stable in one. In the background is a cradle 
with a child, watched over by a placid cat, a cow 
and a number of yellow chickens, which trip close 
past the cradle: a deliciously homely and delight- 
fully-painted slice of life, enUvened by the rays falling 
from the skylight upon the cradle and deepening 
all the colours in the foreground, so that the blue 
becomes bluer, the green real, mellow grass-green, 
and the scene of the cradle, the cat, the cow and 
the chickens, with a few objects around, placed in 
the full light, forms the centre of the picture. 

Auguste Alleb6 was born in Amsterdam in 1838 
and received his first lessons at the Academy. Later, 
he followed the course at the Ecole Normale in 
Paris, where he learnt much of Mouilleron, the well- 
known lithographer, and it is perhaps to the latter's 
lessons that we owe those immaculate lithographic 
portraits of Alleb^'s, which are models of simple, 
unaffected draughtmanship. Together with Jamin 
and Maurits Leon, he worked for two years in 
P. F. Greive's studio, subsequent to which came 
his Early in Churchy formely in the Van Lynden 
collection. In 1868, he went to Brussels and, on his 
return, in 1870, was appointed professor at the 
State Academy of Plastic Art, under De Poorter, 
whom he succeeded as director on the latter's death 
in 1880. 




THE WELL-GUARDED CHILD — A. ALLEBE 
(Rijksmiiscum, Amsterdam) 



The Masters of the Cabinet Picture 8 1 

Many have regretted the fact that this fine painter, 
with his pronounced talent, should, after ten years 
of success and general appreciation, have abandoned 
his artistic career. Perhaps, at first, he flattered himself 
that he would be able to combine the two callings and 
allowed himself to be persuaded accordingly. But, 
even as he had been a conscientious painter, so now 
he became a careful and scrupulous teacher. The two 
were not to be combined and the artist was swallowed 
up in the professor. And, however much we may 
regret this from the point of view of our national 
art, it is not for those who have enjoyed his teaching 
to complain : the excellent pupils whom he has formed 
bear witness, in many respects, to the culture that 
distinguished his teaching. 

His years of study and his principal years of 
work, from i860 to 1870 (although some of his 
best water-colours are dated after 1870), coincided 
with those of Matthijs, Jacob and Willem Maris and 
with the time when the masters of the Hague school, 
while preparing for the full flight which they were 
to take after 1870, had already produced some of 
their most finished work. It was a time rich in 
promise, strong in reserved force; for the Hague 
school it was the burgeoning of the buds, the 
beginning of a spring which was soon to burst into 
full blossom and become a luxurious summer of 
latter-day Dutch art. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE HAGUE SCHOOL: INTRO- 
DUCTION 

If we look back upon the painters of whom I have 
written in the previous chapters, we behold a proces- 
sion of teachers who displayed their talent to its 
fullest extent in their pupils. We find in Amsterdam 
J. W. Pieneman and J. A. Kruseman, who have the 
honour of having introduced Jozef Israels to Dutch 
painting; B. J. van Hove, who gave us Bosboom, 
but also Weissenbruch — two painters who, despite 
the different forms of their art, and probably owing 
to the influence of their master, show so many traces 
of resemblance — and also his son Huib, who, in 
his turn, produced Jacob Maris, Bisschop and both 
David Bles and Bakker Korff; Schelfhout, who, in 
Jongkind and Weissenbruch, gave us the best that 
he had to give and, through his pupil Nuyen, 
prepared Rochussen for us; Samuel Verveer, who 
contributed to Jan Weissenbruch's artistic training; 
Louis Meijer, the pupil of J. W. Pieneman, who 
taught Matthijs Maris the rudiments of his art, and 
P. F. van Os, to whom Mauve and Roelofs owe much. 




INNER YARD OF THE TOWN HALL AT KUILENRURG— JAN WEISSENBRUCH 
(Municipal Museum, Dordrcclit) 




1 1 

^ i 

W a 

^ i 

2: Qi 



The Hague School: Introduction 83 

while Roelofs, to a certain extent, formed Mesdag. 
We find H. van de Sande Bakhuijzen, who taught 
his son Julius and his daughter Gerardina, the 
flower-painter, and who was also the master of Weis- 
senbruch and Ter Meulen; B. C. Koekkoek, who 
formed Hanedoes (b. 1822) and J. W. Bilders, the 
teacher of his own son Gerard (i 838-1 865); Gijs- 
bertus Craejrvanger (b. 18 10), the painter of town- 
views, who for a time had Albert Neuhuijs as his 
pupil, while Bisschop gave Blommers and Israels Artz 
lessons which they turned to good account. 

And in these names we see the whole glorious 
array of the masters of the Hague school. The 
Hague school ! An approximate title invented by the 
Amsterdam painters of a younger generation. A 
name for which there would be no room in our 
little Holland, but for the fact that, in general, Am- 
sterdam and the Hague differed so greatly in their 
methods of painting. A name that expresses the 
loftiest point reached by Dutch painting since the 
seventeenth century. 

And yet, when Bosboom, in 1833 to 1834, painted 
his first town-view in his master's manner; when 
Israels, in 1848, sent his first picture, a biblical 
subject, from Amsterdam to an exhibition at the Hague; 
when Rochussen, the oldest of them all, who did not 
begin to paint until 1836, exhibited his small pictures 
and Weissenbruch painted his Schelfhout-like land- 
scapes ; when, lastly, during all those years, Schelfhout 
and Koekkoek, the Pienemans and the Krusemans 
remained the great men and, of the work of all those 
who were afterwards to be known as the Hague 
masters, only that of Bosboom was distinguished by 



84 The Hague School: Introduction 

those same qualities for which he was to be admired 
all his Hfe and long after ; nay, even when a member 
of a younger generation, Jacob Maris, painted in oils 
or water-colour his now so highly valued genre-pieces 
and when, in 1863, Matthijs and Willem Maris raised 
a contest through their personal views at a Hague 
exhibition, a contest which Jacob was afterwards to 
wage in a more lasting fashion : even then there was 
no mention of a Hague school! 

Matthijs Maris in his Back Slum and Willem in his 
Landscape with Cattle display a quality of colouring 
of which young Bilders, painting in the same style 
as Willem Maris, gave the formula, oddly enough, 
before it had actually come into existence. Their 
colours are worked up into a tonality out of which 
the light draws the forms to the foreground, whereas, 
before their time, the sky was generally no more 
than a piece of scene-painting, against which each 
form was traced out separately and positively. In 
1 860 (Willem Maris was then sixteen), Bilders wrote 
to Mr. Kneppelhout: 

" I am looking for a tone which we call coloured 
grey, that is a combination of all colours, however 
strong, harmonized in such a way that they give the 
impression of a warm and fragrant grey." 

And again : 

"To preserve the sense of the grey even in the 
most powerful green is amazingly difficult and whoever 
discovers it will be a happy mortal.* 

Later, he wrote: 

" It is not my aim and object to paint a cow for 
the cow's sake or a tree for the tree's, but by means 



OF THE ^V 




The Hague School: Introduction 85 

of the whole to reproduce an impression which nature 
sometimes gives." 

And, although he was not given time (he died at 
twenty-six) to attain in his work that symphonic result 
which a riper generation achieved, he did, in his 
little landscape in the Rijksmuseum, come near to 
finding the grey for which he was seeking and he 
showed that he did not paint the cow for the cow*s 
sake. In the same year, 1 860, in which he voiced 
his longing for a warm grey, he received the revelation 
of what painting can be, a revelation which the painters 
who came after him received in the same measure: 

"I have seen pictures," he wrote, speaking of 
Brussels, " of which I had never dreamed and in 
which I found all that my heart desires, all that I 
nearly always miss in the Dutch painters. Troyon, 
Courbet, Diaz, Dupr6, Robert Fleury have made a 
great impression on me. I am a good Frenchman, 
therefore; but, as Simon van den Berg says, it is 
just because I am a good Frenchman that 1 am a 
good Dutchman, since the great Frenchmen of to day 
and the great Dutchmen of the past have much in 
common. Unity, restfulness, earnestness and, above all, 
an inexplicable intimacy with nature are what struck 
me most in these pictures. There were certainly also a 
few good Dutch pieces, but, generally speaking, when 
you place them next to the great Parisians, they 
lack that mellowness, that quality which, so to speak, 
resembles the deep tones of an organ. And yet 
this luxurious manner came originally from Holland, 
from our steaming, fat-coloured Holland ! They were 



86 The Hague School: Introduction 

courageous pictures; there was a heart and a soul 
in them." 

Probably this is the place once more to show how 
these so-called Barbizon painters, who were so entirely 
un-French in all their being, could be developed in 
France, in Paris; how an accumulation of foreign 
methods in England kindled the spark which ignited, 
in that country, a flourishing renascence of Italian and 
Dutch painting and, in so doing, transferred the art 
of absolute painting to modern times. 

The Enghsh people are characterized in opposition 
to the foreigner mainly by their practical sense. This 
quality has, from an early date (and perhaps by way 
of reaction), prompted the English to cultivate all 
that is beautiful and has produced that series of poets 
of whom they are so justly proud, while their wealth 
has always enabled them to supply the lack of a 
native art of painting by inviting to their country 
successive famous painters from abroad, of whom 
Holbein and Van Dijck are the chief. They have 
done more. Since the days of Charles II., they have 
never ceased buying pictures from the Continent: 
Italian and especially Venetian masters; Flemish 
masters; and, with an evident preference, Dutch 
masters. No country has collected with greater per- 
spicacity than England; no people have so thoroughly 
realized the value of Dutch landscape, for which 
reason, perhaps, it has been said that, after the 
Japanese, no people are more devoted to what is 
nowadays called "nature" than the English. 

This was bound to have an effect ; and, eventually, 
from all these imported painters and paintings arose 



The Hague School: Introduction 87 

the great English portrait-school of Reynolds and 
Gainsborough, based on Rembrandt and the Venetian 
masters and especially on Van Dijck. And, as the 
aristocratic life of the English was spent mainly at 
their country-seats and as these portrait-painters, with 
Gainsborough in particular, painted the portraits of 
the women of their time with unparalleled elegance 
against the backgrounds of their parks, the natural 
result was that, together with the portrait, the love 
of the landscape must lead to the painting of land- 
scape for its own sake. And so it happened that, 
from the stately parks of his portraits, from the rustic 
village in which he was born, Gainsborough derived 
the first modern landscape based upon Rubens, but 
gently modulated, full of style and great. For, though 
he may afterwards have painted landscapes illu- 
minated by his admiration for Cuyp, though he may 
occasionally remind us of Watteau and sometimes 
presage Corot, he was the first painter who, in the 
Netherlands manner, rendered the English landscape 
in the English style and thus became the harbinger 
of a renascence of the Dutch school of landscape- 
painting. 

The question has also been asked by the English 
whether Van Dijck was not, in his turn, influenced 
by England, a question which, to judge by his Eng- 
lish portraits, seems very possible, the more so 
as their particular qualities are those which we find 
most frequently repeated in the later English school. 
For, however much both Van Dijck, who was 
Gainsborough's exemplar, and Rubens inspired Gains- 
borough's landscapes, however Dutch Constable 
showed himself to be, to whatever degree these two 



i^8 The Hague School: Introduction 

reproduced their English landscape in the pure picto- 
rial form of our seventeenth-century masters, there 
is no trace of plagiarism, no question of copying: 
their art, like that of Bonington, was purely 
English. And it was this art which was as a reve- 
lation to the French landscape-painters, whose works, 
exhibited in Brussels and Paris, in their turn gave 
the Dutchmen an understanding of their own being 
and a clearer insight, which, at first, perhaps, with 
a suggestion of borrowed riches, led them back at length 
into their own domain. 

It is easy to overestimate an influence. For, although 
the art of painting, colour and the sense of a powerful 
movement can be taught and learned, it is not often 
that a foreign tradition leads to great display of 
strength. And the style built up from the classic 
Dutch landscapes has passed away in both England 
and France and survives in Holland alone of all the 
countries where it was introduced. Holland alone 
perpetuated it in its purity, stripped of all foreign 
adornments. And, although numbers of Germans, 
Swedes and Englishmen set out for the Forest of 
Fontainebleau to catch something of the spirit of the 
Barbizon masters and sat by the edge of the ponds 
at Ville-d'Avray, seeking for the genius of Corot, or 
came to Holland to study the old and new land- 
scape-painters, the essence of the national art of 
the country remained as foreign to them as the land 
itself and the race. 

The Hague masters did not at once achieve their 
complicated solutions of light, their breadth of view, 
their masterliness of touch. 



The Hague School: Introduction 89 

The genesis of our art follows the same law at 
all times. Every painter, every school of painting 
passes through that which is symptomatic of the whole 
art of painting : stiffness and precision at first, breadth 
and width in the fuller expansion, more open in the 
measure as it commands more and occupies a freer 
position towards the technical power of representation. 
Is not the progress of Rembrandt, from the naive 
and compact little portraits of his early years to the 
Syndics of the Cloth-hall and after, on a line with the 
development of Bosboom, Israels and the Maris 
brothers? An immensity of talent and work were 
needed to bring our school of painting out of its 
latent power to the rich aftermath which it produced. 

In the first half of the nineteenth century, almost 
all our cities — Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotterdam, 
Utrecht, Leeu warden, Dordrecht, Delft — had their 
own painters. In 1870, the Hague, like Paris, became 
a centre to which all the painters flocked. Nor was 
this due to accident. The Hague, thirty years ago, 
was surrounded on every side by nature in all her 
fulness : to the south and east lay the endless, luxu- 
riant meadows, with the distant horizon, absorbing 
every colour, unchanged since Potter's days ; to the 
north and west, the delicious low-lying dunes and 
rich dune-valleys, with the great North Sea, which 
communicates its pale-grey atmosphere to the greater 
part of the Hague, and the long Scheveningen beach, 
with its active fishing life, all under that same silvery 
sky. Here, surely, if anywhere, the grey of which 
Gerard Bilders had dreamt was to find its realization. 

To a certain extent, the Hague of 1870 to 1890 
may be best compared with fifteenth-century Bruges. 



90 The Hague School: Introduction 

Even as the skilled painters of all the northern coun- 
tries gathered at Bruges, so, in 1870 to 1871, did 
the skilled painters of these later days come to settle 
at the Hague, attracted by the sea and the landscape,- 
by the painters already residing there and, as at 
Bruges, by more material advantages, which consisted 
not, as at Bruges, in the presence of wealthy merchants, 
but in the recent establishment of the Maison Goupil, 
which in Paris, under Vincent van Gogh, had so 
strenuously supported the younger Dutch painters. 
Israels came to the Hague in 1 869, from Amsterdam, 
as " a made man, " although his greatest and most 
philosophical works were yet to come ; Mesdag came 
in the same year, after achieving his first successes 
in Brussels; Mauve arrived in 1870; Weissenbruch 
was a native of the Hague; Bisschop, the Frisian, 
Wcis living there as a young painter; Jacob Maris 
returned to the Hague in 1871, after the Paris Com- 
mune, and Artz a few years later. Albert and Jozef 
Neuhuys moved to the Hague from Utrecht in 1875; 
Gabriel from Brussels in 1884; Roelofs a little later; 
Breitner about 1880; and Tholen, Toorop and others 
joined the rest in 1886. When the first of these 
painters came to the Hague in 1869 or 1870, they 
found Bles there, as well as Samuel and Elchanon 
Verveer and such painters as Tom, Destr6e, the 
Van Deventers, Van Everdingen, Nakken, Stroebel 
and Hanendoes and also Bosboom, in the full vigour 
of his powers, and Willem Maris, who had pursued 
his own road as calmly as Bosboom himself. 

The nucleus of the Hague school consists of 
Bosboom, Israels, Matthijs and Willem Maris and 




3| 



The Hague School: Introduction 91 

Mauve. It is true that Matthijs Marls' Dutch period 
proper occurs before 1870 and that, in this case, the 
painter would be outside the circle of the school; 
but I have purposely, for practical reasons, drawn 
this circle pretty wide and, moreover, the more we 
come to know this painter's earlier work, the more 
we realize his great significance for his contem- 
poraries, from i860 to 1868, and the great influence 
which he exercised upon those who were to follow 
him in this school. 

Bosboom was the master continuously from 1833, 
the year in which he first exhibited, to 1891, the 
year of his death. He may have been influenced 
by the Romanticists and, in particular, by Nuyen; 
later, he may have striven after heavier effects in his 
admiration for Rembrandt; after 1870, he may have 
allowed himself to be seduced by the modern breath of 
a budding impressionism (and this was incontestably 
the case) : all this does not detract from the fact that, 
from the start, he remained himself, and was recog- 
nized for his gifts of heart and hand. 

And the artist who influenced him more than any 
other was Rembrandt. The influence is seen in the 
motives of his Synagogue at Amsterdam and his 
Treves Cathedral^ heavy and monumental in the second, 
glowing with rich effects of colour and light in the 
first. These are the pictures which brought him into 
general consideration about 1870, for the sake of 
the grandeur of their conception and their poetic mood, 
although a later generation prefers the simpler and 
more open drawings illumined by a less direct Rem- 
brandt light, because they perhaps come even nearer 
to the essence of the master whom he held so high. 



92 The Hague School: Introduction 

These drawings date to 1863, a year of adversity 
for Bosboom, of an adversity rich in consequences. 
In this year — incredible though it may seem, when 
we contemplate the well-balanced work of this classic 
painter — he was smitten, not for the first time, with 
an attack of melancholy and with so great a feeling 
of impotence that he wished that he might never 
have to paint again. He recovered his equilibrium 
at the country-seat of Jonkheer van Rappard, with 
whom he and his wife, ihe well-known novelist, went 
to stay. Van Rappard acted as his Maecenas and 
bought all the drawings which he produced, while 
urging him not to confine himself to church-interiors. 
The hospitality and liberty which Bosboom enjoyed 
enabled him to wander peacefully between Utrecht 
and Loosdrecht, where he was struck by the mas- 
sive build both of isolated trees and of the great 
farm-houses whose intimacy, whose ample construc- 
tion he so well succeeded in reproducing. In later 
years, the number of his water-colours began to 
exceed that of his oil-paintings considerably. And, after 
1 89 1 , the year of his death, portfolios came to light 
crammed with drawings, sketches and scrawls, by 
the hundred, which suggested great art even where 
the paper was barely touched, as in the sketch of the 
great church at Alkmaar, in the cloister- stairs, in 
lightly-washed chalk-drawings, and made the same 
revelation to the more modern that his more solid 
work had made to an earlier generation. 

And Bosboom's water-colours! Compared with 
the analytical water-colour art of Alleb^, how great 
is his power to solve the most intricate difficulties 
by the simplest means, in his stately church-interiors, 



The Hague School: Introduction 93 

in his cloistered corridors, in his sacristies, as in his 
suites of apartments or his drawings of the Hofje 
van Nieuwkoop, the old home of Palchri Studio. It 
is inconceivably simple ; and, even if one stood behind 
him, following those little drawings, the simple move- 
ments of his hand, the brush flowing, dragging or 
serving as a drawing-pen, the fixing of a few details 
in those fluent, colourless spaces until everything 
is there, light and shade, the full, absorbed tone, 
the bright lights and, above all, a great, simple 
truthfulness : even then it appears to us a mysterious 
movement of the fingers, under which — O wonder! — 
that pure plastic art comes into being and gives its 
value to Bosboom's slightest sketch. 

This great artist, who used to declare that he 
had known no other master than Rembrandt, adopted 
all that we most admire in Rembrandt's etchings: 
the stately design, the noble line, springing straight 
from the heart, the generous riot of his lines, the 
spacious gestures which have been handed down to 
us in his least scrawls, in his most ingenuous 
drawings or sketches in oils. But Bosboom did not 
inherit all his master's attributes. Rembrandt saw 
mankind : he was the seer who beheld the divine 
revealed in humanity ; he saw men in their helpless- 
ness, their imperfection, in their awkward movements; 
he saw them poor, hideous or honourable; out of 
his rich life he saw them as they are: beautiful, 
because of that life ; beautiful, because they live their 
piteous lives simply and manfully; great, because 
they are men and, therefore, of divine origin. He 
saw them with the eyes of the Bible: the halt and 
the lame, the blind, the Samaritans ; he also saw 



94 The Hague School: Introduction 

the Pharisees. And it was this side of him that Bos- 
boom was unable to touch, the side which none in 
these days was able to approach save Israels alone. 

Jozef Israels sprang from a very different environ- 
ment. Bosboom succeeded Van Hove, Schelfhout, 
Waldorp, Nuyen, the natural precursors of the 
Hague school, and saw his road lie straight and 
smooth before him. Israels had not only to rid himself 
of the conventional conceptions of his masters, Pieneman 
and Kruseman, but also to shake himself free from Picot 
and Delaroche and his early admiration of Ary Scheffer. 

Richard Muther fixes " the decisive year which led 
the stream of Dutch painting back into its old course" 
at 1857, "the very year when a new movement in 
Dutch literature was begun with Multatuli." Max 
Liebermann, in many respects a pupil of Israels and, in 
any case, his brother in art, says: 

"Israels first realized himself at an age at which 
most painters have already produced their best work ; 
and, had he had the misfortune to die at forty, 
Holland would have been unable to boast of one of 
her greatest sons." 

He, therefore, fixes the date of the present Israels 
at 1864. Jan Veth gives i86oas the commencement 
of the Hague school; and, although there is truth 
in all these views, I prefer to place the date at about 
1870, the period when Israels settled at the Hague, 
when Jacob Maris came home from Paris, when Mesdag 
and Mauve moved to the Hague and when Artz 
also came here for a time from Paris, to setde down 




PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF — JOZEF ISRAELS 

[The property of^'Pulcltri Studio," the Hague) 



The Hague School: Introduction 95 

definitely a couple of years later. For, if fate had 
decreed that such painters as Israels, Jacob and 
Matthijs Maris, Willem Maris, Mauve, Mesdag and 
Weissenbruch should have ceased production about 
1870 (as in the case of Alleb6, Matthijs Maris's con- 
temporary), there is no doubt that, in spite of the 
precious pieces which they bequeathed to us between 
i860 and 1870, there would have been no question 
of a modern, of a Hague school of painting. They 
had, it is true, produced master-pieces which, to 
a certain extent, remained unsurpassed by their later 
and more matured works ; but these mark the zenith 
of the art of 1830 to 1840 rather than an inspired 
and inspiring new birth. Only in Bosboom's sketches 
should we have perceived an unknown spirit, the 
announcement of an unfulfilled promise, while from 
the little pictures of the Thijs Maris of that time 
we should have seen that the seventeenth-century 
powers of Rembrandt and De Hooche were not 
entirely lost. 

We can trace the general development by following 
Israels' studies. Bom at Groningen in 1824, he was 
brought up in the traditions of the old faith and was 
destined for the rabbinate. He seems to have been 
a promising lad, who was handy with his pencil, read 
the Talmud diligently, played the violin and wrote 
little poems. When he grew up, his father, who had 
a small business as a stock and share-dealer, required 
his services ; and Israels loves to tell how, as a boy, 
he used to go with his bag of notes and securities 
to the office of old Mr. Mesdag, where H. W. 
Mesdag was afterwards himself to sit on a high stool. 
About 1840, upon the persuasion of a Groningen 



96 The Hague School: Introduction 

Maecenas, Mr. de Witte the lawyer, Israels' father 
consented that he should go to Amsterdam to study 
under Kruseman and, for seven years, he worked in 
Kruseman's studio and followed Pieneman's classes 
at the Academy. But it was not to be expected 
that this lively, emotional, Jewish nature, brought 
up on the flowery, colourful narratives of the Old 
Testament, should rest content with the systematic 
methods, based at it were upon formal recipes, of 
his two painting-masters. He received his first great 
impression in 1855 fr^"^ Ary Scheffer's Gretchen at 
the Spinning-wheel, then exhibiting in Amsterdam. 
He here found something different from the "calcu- 
lated preciseness" that had been dinned into him 
and sentiment and poetry attracted him more than 
mere craftsman's skill. In the following year, he went 
to Paris and worked in the studio of Picot, a painter 
of the school of David. He returned in 1848, the 
year of the revolution ; and it was clear that he had 
seen nothing in Paris of what was already brewing 
in the world of art, for, in that year, he exhibited 
in Amsterdam, where he had a studio in the Warmoes 
Straat, his Aaron discovering the Corpses of his two 
SoftSf a biblical subject, in the style of his master, 
which met with as little success as his portrait of 
Madame Tagny, a Parisian actress at that time per- 
forming in Amsterdam. He continued, in spite of 
his inward leanings, to cling to tradition. Once, 
when he had painted the head of an old and ugly 
woman, Jan Kruseman told him that it was not right 
to paint ugly people, because this spoilt one's taste; 
and, although he proved later that out of old, crumpled 
faces he was able to create a beauty that was impe- 




THE WOMAN AT THE WINDOW — JOZEF ISRAELS 
(Boymans Museum, Rotterdam) 



The Hague School: Introduction 97 

rishable, he still hesitated between his master's and 
his own inclination to the extent of producing his 
Reverie in 1851, a violinist, Adagio con espressione 
(afterwards lithographed by Alleb6), in 1852 and, in 
1855, The Prince of Orange for the first time opposing 
the orders of the King of Spaiuy which was hung in 
the Paris Exhibition. Lastly, after he had found his 
province at Zandvoort and, in 1856, had painted 
that dramatic episode, taken from the fisherman's 
life. By Mother s Grave, he exhibited at the Hague 
a Hannah vowing Samuel to the service of the altar. 

But the impression made upon him by the existence 
of the fisher-folk at Zandvoort was a lasting one. 
Israels had gone to Zandvoort for his health and 
stayed in the house of a small shipwright, whose 
domestic life he shared ; and here, far from studios, 
painters and the precepts of his masters, he began 
to observe for himself the daily routine of the 
fishermen's lives : their quiet movements, their natural, 
simple existence, with its sorrows and terrors and 
also its little joys, all unspoiled by social forms. In 
this environment, his eyes were opened to the beauty 
of real life, to the poetry of truth ; and he came 
to see that there was a drama in life well worth 
depicting and yet far removed from the biblical, the 
historical and the heroic. 

In 1856, he took a studio in Amsterdam, on the 
Rozengracht, in the house of a Mr. Helwig, whose 
portrait, now in the Rijksmuseum, shows how far 
Israels* art had already advanced. In 1863, he 
married and settled on the Prinsengracht ; but it 
was not until 1869, the year in which he moved to 
the Hague, that he began to earn the title of head 



98 The Hague School: Introduction 

of the modern Dutch School which he has ever 
since retained. In this year, he began to paint that 
memorable series of interiors which, commencing as 
dramatic and romantic episodes, gradually expanded 
into more philosophical conceptions, wherein some- 
times the family was exalted to the level of the 
patriarchal sense of the word. He not only painted his 
figures with extraordinary truth to nature, sitting at 
the frugal board, with all the dignity that characterizes 
the simple of heart, eating their dinners from the 
common dish, or folding their hands at grace before 
meat, or, in the case of the housewife, baking her 
cakes, or cooking food for the cattle, or sewing, or 
tending her child (this last was an inexhaustible 
source of subjects for the painter), but he knew 
how to make the surroundings, the atmosphere of 
those steaming fishermen's homes so tangible that 
the figures moved in it, breathed and lived their own 
unvarnished lives, at first amid a mass of symbolic 
details, afterwards with the latter merely suggested 
to the spectator, while the whole of these small 
happenings was transferred to the wide domain of 
humanity. 

How expressive are Israels' hands ! Van Dijck is 
said to have had a model with beautiful hands, 
whom he used for all his portraits of men. Here, 
the hands are the bearers of a sentiment, they serve 
to express the incident, they fill an important place 
in the painter's psychological powers of expression; 
they tell so soberly what they have to tell : they tell 
of the coldness of the hands which the shivering 
woman puts out to catch the last gleams of warmth 
of the dying peat-fire ; they tell of impotent resigna- 




WHEN A BODY GROWS OLD— JOZEF ISRAELS 
(The property of Mr. M. Hijmans van Wadenoijen, the Hague) 



The Hague School: Introduction 99 

tion when they lie squat and square on the knees 
of the figure in Nothing more; they tell of the 
spiritual weariness of A Son of the Old People as they 
hang limply between his knees; and they tell of 
ecstasy in the passion with which a harpist strives 
to draw tones from his classic instrument. 

Israels is, above all things, a psychologist, to 
whom no picture is complete without thought. He 
endeavours always to achieve the highest form of 
expression and never aims at rousing admiration by 
la belle peinture. But we must not imagine that, for 
this reason, he is any the less important as a painter. 
For it is not until we are penetrated with the fact 
that Israels gropes rather than paints with his colours 
and brushes, that his pictures are born of hesitations 
and approximations rather than of regular painting: 
it is not until then that we come to be impressed 
by the mighty colour-schemes with which he has made 
tangible the atmosphere of a room, by solutions of 
light so subtle that everything concerts to draw the 
figure forward and to support it with light, colour 
and tone, so that the figure is firmly fixed in its 
environment, which nevertheless hangs quite freely 
around it ; and we then see that Israels is a painter 
who has a perfect command of the instrument which 
he himself has created, but seeks not so much to 
draw sweet tones from it as to turn it into the 
representation and symbol of life itself. 

Nor, again, is anything less true than to say, as 
has lately been so often and so variously said, that 
Israels painted his fisher subjects with an idea of 
raising the "fourth estate:" this classification of 
estates is not mine. No proof is needed to show 



loo The Hague School: Introduction 

how great is the misconception. Israels is far too 
much of a painter to be preoccupied with any such 
Tendenz intention. What attracted Israels in the lives 
of the fishermen was the natural manner in which 
these unpolished people displayed their little joys, their 
sufferings, their fears, against the majestic background 
of the sea, the source alike of their Hvelihood and 
their affliction. A painter, he beheld in them pictu- 
resque figures in harmonious surroundings filled with 
atmosphere and with that incalculable light which is 
but seldom to be found in a solid, square interior 
fashioned of bricks and wood; he saw the children 
playing freely in the pools left behind by the retreating 
tide; he saw the mothers lulling their children to 
sleep; he saw death striking at the household; he 
saw the fishermen in touch with the sea. And his 
art is great even outside these subjects ; and, without 
speaking of his portraits, which come so near to life, 
we admire the same breadth of view, the same 
expressiveness, the same poetry, whether he paints 
himself under the light of a lamp, or a harpist seated at 
her instrument, or a fashionable woman at her window, 
or a woman bathing. Even in his Sexton, that great 
pendant of the psychological interiors, that remarkable 
piece which, in its soberness, of all Israels' mighty 
work perhaps approaches nearest to Rembrandt and, 
at the same time, is allied to the greatness of our 
little masters : even here there is not a vestige of what 
we may call Tendenz. 

One who did not know Israels and who judged him 
only by his works could readily picture him as a 
melancholy man, burdened and bent with the suffer- 
ing which he reproduces in his paintings. Nothing 




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The Hague School: Introduction loi 

is farther from the truth. He sees the suffering; he 
penetrates into the loneliness, the poverty, the very 
being of forlorn humanity; he has the imagination 
necessary to exalt his single figures into types, to 
raise his episodes of the fisherman's life from the 
particular to the general. But he need no more 
be identified with the figures in his paintings than 
the novelist with those in his books. For, in his 
own being, he is a Jew, in whom the strength of 
the old race finds voice; a Jew to whom all philo- 
sophy is experience of life; in bone and marrow a 
son of the old people, not according to the letter, 
but according to the spirit, with a healthy dislike 
of all feeble sentiment. 

Jozef Israels is incontestably the head of the Dutch 
school of painting in so far that he, the powerful 
painter, the great psychologist, ranks with the most 
important artists of all countries, in so far, espe- 
cially, that he has enriched our school with an art that 
observes the underlying essence of the things depicted. 
His influence, which at first related chiefly to his 
subjects, afterwards had the most far-reaching effects 
upon a much younger generation, owing to the 
purity of his psychology and his ever more and 
more magical powers of expression, while the delicate 
culture of his mind and his truly unsystematic philo- 
sophy made him the centre of a vast circle of 
admirers and friends. 

On the other hand, Jacob Maris, thanks to his 
powerful palette, his masterly touch, his classical 
method, exercised a greater and a much more 
direct influence upon his contemporaries and the 
younger painters. This was not only through his 



I02 The Hague School: Introduction 

work, but also through the force of his personality, 
which gathered all the younger painters around it, daily 
and incessantly, in evenings at which, in the intervals 
between the music, painting was discussed and all his 
words remembered and reported. 

Eckermann tells, in his Gesprdche mit Goethe^ of 
the German painters in Rome, who, whenever there 
were enough of them collected in the osteria, came 
to loggerheads touching the respective merits of 
Michael Angelo and Raphael and, when the dispute 
was at its height, rushed off in two bodies to the 
Vatican, there to demonstrate in the presence of the 
paintings, and returned to the tavern to make friends 
over a bottle of wine and ... to begin all over again 
on the morrow. 

Even so men have quarrelled about other great 
artists : about Rembrandt and Velasquez ; or, as they 
did and do to this day, about Jozef Israels and Jacob 
Maris. Israels was the first to give us, in the nine- 
teenth century, life, living man in conflict with every 
phase of life, psychology, in short. Jacob Maris 
was the first to give us, in our day, colour, the joy 
of colour revealed in the gladness of Holland's skies 
and cities and fields, colour in light, colour in shade: 
he brought us master qualities of painting, the equi- 
librium between form and colour and the glory of 
light. All that he sought to achieve he achieved 
fully; he was in harmony with his conception; he 
was one with his art. This cannot always be said 
of Israels. But Israels aimed at something that lies 
outside the painter's art, something that may be 
described as metaphysical. 




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The Hague School: Introduction 103 

Although Bosboom stood first in the series of the 
Hague masters and Jozef Israels was destined to 
represent Dutch painting, we must always look upon 
the three Marises, but especially Jacob and Willem, 
as the founders of the Hague School. There were 
great landscape-painters before them, including Hane- 
does and Willem Roelofs (182 2- 1897), of whom 
both had, long before, felt the inspiring influence 
of the Barbizon painters and of whom the second 
had shown an early disposition as a colourist and the 
first, in his Sunset^ in the Hague Museum, had 
proved that he realized how the sky gave life to 
the landscape, long before the Marises had learnt 
to know the French painters. But, though Roelofs, 
the Amsterdammer, drank with deep draughts of 
the wealth of colour which the Barbizon masters 
retained from the romantic period; though he was 
the precursor; though, at times, he was successful 
in his application of their colour-schemes : for all that, 
he never felt that the real being of their art was 
Dutch. And the result was that he saw the Dutch 
pastures, the fat fields, the great pools of water through 
their eyes, but did not, through them, come to 
realize and acknowledge the art of his country and 
his race. This does not do away with the fact that 
he was a strenuous painter, who often succeeded in 
reproducing the influence of wind and weather on 
the landscape. 

When, in 1870, Jacob Maris made his appearance 
with his Ferry-boat, the difference became evident. 
To him had been revealed not so much the masters 
of Barbizon and their works, but the nature and 



I04 The Hague School: Introduction 

essence of the lowlands of Holland. In the case of 
Roelofs, we behold a generous admiration and an 
admiring compliance; in that of Jaap Maris, an 
understanding, a revelation of his own country. 
And not one of them all (I am leaving Bosboom 
outside the question), about 1870, brought forth a 
work in which the traditions of our country and our 
people, the essence of our Dutch atmosphere are so 
exquisitely understood and reproduced as in this 
Ferry-boat which, once and for all, marked the return 
to sheer painting. 

He restored to the Netherlands, first of all, colour, 
which none of our nineteenth-century painters before 
him had displayed so purely. He also brought with 
him the art of painting, art in the sense in which 
the littie masters of the seventeenth century under- 
stood it. For none of his works betrays Barbizon 
influences. No doubt, from the very beginning, he 
sought his way through formulas of every kind; no 
doubt, Matthijs Maris exercised a great, a very great 
influence upon him ; but, starting with this first painting 
in which he proved that he had seen his country, 
he was the real Dutchman : full of colour, lucid, great, 
above all, in those light skies in which Ruysdael 
and Vermeer of Delft before him so gloriously expressed 
their love of their country, firm of touch, sensitive 
in delineation, broad in expression, steadfast in work- 
manship and endowed with a colourful, but pure 
palette. The first of his town-views, smaller in 
dimensions than the later ones, more compact in 
composition, more pronounced in form, displays all 
the merits for which Jan Vermeer's View of Delft, 
the pearl of the Mauritshuis, is so dear to every 




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The Hague School: Introduction 105 

Dutchman. All the merits? Maris gave us more, 
but also gave us less, for, if the work of the modem 
master was more symphonic, he was not able to give 
that unfailing, self-contained representation which, 
when all is said, makes Vermeer so unapproachable. 
Still, the emotion in this apparently unemotional work 
is, as in that of the Delft master, of the purest order. 
His art is purely pictorial, his moods, his agitation, 
his admiration have their source in a rhythmical 
disposition which, seeing things in their own splendour, 
places them on view in the delicious colour-gradations 
of its own rich nature. 

If we mention not only Vermeer, but also Rembrandt 
and Jacob Maris in one breath, we must remember 
that they who shout, "Rembrandt! Rembrandt!" 
the loudest, without being impressed by Jacob Maris* 
greatness, would certainly have belonged to those 
who, in Rembrandt's own day, most violently reviled 
him, or, for lack of understanding, denied him. And 
yet our delight, the nature of our emotion in the 
presence of Jaap Maris is less intense than in that 
of Rembrandt. It is the same insatiable feeling; 
the same sense of not being able to grasp so much 
that is grand and majestic and beautiful and instruc, 
tive; the same growing admiration for the range- 
the wealth and the variety of the subjects, for the 
richness of the colour and the luxuriance of the 
treatment, for that noble structure and calm power of 
expression, for that same simplicity of heart, even 
though the later painter lacks the childlike faith 
that roused the visionary in Rembrandt. But all 
Jacob Maris* existence lies in the stately equilibrium, 
the glorious sense of measure which enable him to 



io6 The Hague School: Introduction 

balance tall, burly windmills with huge banks of 
clouds, low-lying towns with the light of water and 
sky, smooth beaches with the rugged clouds in their 
grandeur, until, in a glorious equipoise, they set 
the very soul of the Dutch landscape before us. 

Has it ever happened before that one family has 
produced three sons, artists all three, all masters, all 
great in different manners? Three brothers, all entering 
upon life with the same ideal before their eyes, each 
moving along his own appointed road: Willem, the 
youngest, enamoured of the sunlight, the full sunlight 
as it lies spread in a golden glory over medes and 
meres or as, in the morning, it dispels the mists, 
absorbs the dew of the pastures and plays upon 
the moist twigs of the ditch-side willows; Matthijs 
who turned his dreams into revelations with the 
reality of his memories ; and Jacob, who, as it would 
appear, expressing himself more slowly and gropingly, 
prepared himself for the loftier flight which he was 
to take up, preceding his younger brothers, influenced 
by Thijs (especially in Paris) and caring for him, 
with his nature broad and great from the beginning : 
three brothers, all largely gifted, all three pure painters, 
who, from their childhood, felt the road that lay before 
them and who were painters at an age when most 
lads are still at school. This was how it came about 
that, from the beginning, they thought, felt and 
expressed themselves in paint, with never a hterary 
tendency to disturb their intellectual power, concen- 
trated wholly upon the logical execution of their paint- 
ing: Jacob, who, discovered, in a certain sense, 
by his schoolmaster, began to study under Stroebel 
when he was twelve; Matthijs, who went to Louis 




A LITTLE GIRL AT THE PIANO — JACOB MARIS 
(Thcpropaty of Mr. C. D. Reich, Jr., Amsterdam) 



The Hague School: Introduction 107 

Meijer at the same age; and Willem, who received 
no other direct tuition than that of his eldest brother 
and who worked untrammelled and uninfluenced from 
1863 onwards. The three grew up in very fortunate 
circumstances, in a happy, simple household, of which 
the father, an Austrian on the paternal side, with 
Maresq for his name originally, was a compositor, 
earning twenty shillings a week and free from one- 
sided intellectual prejudices ; simple, sensible people, 
who acknowledged their sons' talents and looked upon 
painting as a fine, a very fine profession and not as 
a luxury. Brought up under these conditions, the 
two elders were soon obliged to work for their 
livelihood and for the common good and they learnt 
their trade by copying old and modern pictures 
in water-colours, working for painters and studying 
under them: an artistic education in our old-Dutch 
manner. 

Johan Anthonie Balthazar Stroebel, whose solid 
instruction Jacob Maris received, was born at the 
Hague in 182 1 and was the pupil consecutively of 
B. J. and Hubertus van Hove. Like his second 
master, he was distinguished for his old-fashioned 
doorkijkjes^ or domestic vistas, but expressed him- 
self in warmer, sometimes a little fiery, but so- 
called Rembrandt tones. He made his pupil draw 
water-colours after still-life and also from models 
employed by himself, a method of instruction to 
which, in later years, he attached great importance. 

A dealer in works of art, Mr. Weimar, found 
Jacob sitting one day with Matthijs on the Groen- 
markt, where the first was making a drawing of the old 
Town-hall; and this meeting had as its result that 



io8 The Hague School: Introduction 

the youg painters (Jacob was then fourteen or fifteen 
years of age) came to work for him and, in particular, 
made water-colour copies of the pictures in his gallery, 
which contained the best products of Dutch and 
Belgian art. Weimar also introduced Jacob to the 
studio of the excellent Huib van Hove, which Wcis 
then in the Hofje van Nieuwkoop, afterwards the first 
home of the Hague Artists' Club, best known by its 
motto of Pulchri Studio. In the evenings, Jacob 
visited the Hague Academy, as did Thijs, who, in 
his twelfth year, began to study under Louis Meijer. 
In 1853, he accompanied his master to Antwerp, 
where he visited the Academy from 1854 to 1856, 
Matthijs following him there in the latter year. After 
Antwerp, the brothers settled in the Hague, where 
Jacob made himself useful to the ailing Louis Meijer 
and also found time to work for himself. They 
were also for some time at Oosterbeek, where they 
met the elder and the younger Bilders, De Haas, 
Mauve and Gabriel and where the three brothers 
painted elaborate studies. 

Jaap Maris felt his younger brother's influence 
most strongly after the trip which they undertook 
together to the Black Forest, thanks to a little fortune 
which they had earned by their copies of the Frederick 
Henry and Amalia of Solms in the House in the 
Wood, for which they received seven hundred guilders, 
or nearly sixty pounds, apiece. The return journey was 
made over Cologne to Mannheim by boat, Heidelberg, 
Carlsruhe, Basel and Lausanne and back by Neuch^tel, 
Dijon, Fontainebleau and Paris. At Cologne, they 
found an exhibition in which the painters of the 
German romantic school, Moritz, Von Schwind, 




THE BIKU CAGE — JACOB MARIS 
{In the collection of the late Mr, J. Staats Forbes, London) 



44fORN' 




PORTRAIT OF A CHILD — MATTHIJS MARIS 

{The property of Messrs. E. J. van Wisseliiigh & Co., Amsterdam) 



The Hague School: Introduction 109 

Kaulbach, Rethel and others confirmed to Matthijs 
all that he had learnt to surmise at Antwerp, 
while Jacob admired only the cartoons. In any case, 
although we find the subjects taken from this journey 
elaborated in a higher degree in Matthijs' work, 
we may take it that his ideas carried Jaap Maris with 
them, for the Paris period, which followed soon after, 
gives the masterly Marlotte, that little pearl-grey 
French town painted in full detail against a hill. The 
Cradle and other pieces which, like his romantic 
church-interiors and The Bird-cage^ we are disposed, 
at first sight, to ascribe to Thijs. The pictures 
are compactly painted and almost as elaborate as the 
younger brother's. Only, the difference here, too, is 
that Jacob was simpler and, from the first, inclined 
to look rather for the purely pictoral and that his 
work, therefore, did not possess that laboured quality 
which has from the beginning and always distinguished 
Thijs, if we except just one or two studies. He also 
underwent the influence of Hubert's studio, to which 
we owe a series of figures of Italian girls that had 
a quick success in Paris and in our own country. 
After his death, a number of fine, thoughtful little 
paintings were discovered, dating back to his Paris 
period; but it was not until he stood all alone in 
Holland that he became himself a pure painter of 
the old Dutch stock, powerful and delicate, dis- 
tinguished and intimate at one and the same time. 

Matthijs Maris' Dutch period really precedes the 
movement which was afterwards described as the 
Hague school. He never sought or hankered after 
what has been called impressionism; and it seemed 



no The Hague School: Introduction 

rather as though he disregarded all other painters 
to follow only Pieter de Hooche, a perhaps unconscious 
endeavour which sometimes made him go in search 
of an even earlier method of painting : the early Flemings 
and Cranach. 

As a lad of twelve, studying under Louis Meijer, 
he soon surprised him by the manner in which he 
had painted a boat with figures into a little sea- 
piece of Meijer's, a manner so excellent that his 
master admitted that he himself could not have done 
it so well and confessed that the picture was increased 
in value because of it. And we can safely say that 
his apprenticeship was devoted exclusively to self- 
realization. As Jacob Maris said of him : 

"Thijs knew everything of himself; he was a 
genius." 

The archives of the Hague Drawing Academy 
contain some drawings by Matthijs which are remark- 
ably mature for a boy of fourteen or fifteen. One, 
a head of Christ with a crown of thorns and a naked 
breast, was drawn when Thijs was only thirteen and 
already shows wonderful qualities. 

It may occasion surprise that the work of the 
Marises, who visited Fontainebleau and Paris as early 
as 1866, betrays so little of the influence of the 
Barbizon school. Although a few complete studies 
made by Thijs in the Forest of Fontainebleau show 
something of the luxuriant green, of the heavy tonality 
of this school, we can take the wonderfully perfect 
little piece exhibited some time ago at the Biesing 
galleries at the Hague — a rustic bridge in a wood, 
with a couple of figures on it — and compare it quite 
as effectively with the angler in Isaac van Ostade's 







SI 

a: -^ 




SISKA — MATTHIJS MARIS 

(The piopci ty of Mrs. van WisselitigJi- Angus, Northwood) 



The Hague School: Introduction m 

etching; for, in point of fact, the drawing in this 
little piece is of a quite different order from that 
of the French painters of 1830. And again, if we 
take all the known work of Thijs Maris together — 
sketches, drawings, studies, elaborate paintings and 
academic studies — it would appear that the only 
work which betrays a trace of the broad, full tone 
of the French landscape-painters is the superb Head 
of a Ram in the Mesdag Museum. He is said to 
have been a boy still when he painted this admirable 
work ; and, although this seems hardly credible, the 
fact remains that it stands alone, whether, as some 
think, it was painted in Paris or in our own country. 
Undoubtedly the most perfect work of this earlier 
period is the famous Souvenir d' Amsterdam. It shows 
an extraordinary clearness and breadth of vision, 
combined with an unfailing touch, and the whole is 
permeated with a sentiment that seems to have its 
being in the essence of the capital rather than in 
the depths of the painter's soul. This view is the 
purest and most complete portrait that has ever been 
produced of Amsterdam ; and there is not a painting 
in the world that can be quite compared with it, 
unless it be the perspective in Van Eyck*s Vierge 
au donaieur in the Louvre, which compels our ad- 
miration through the same accuracy of vision. True, 
Jacob Maris, in later years, painted views in the 
city of Amsterdam in which, in the Inspiration of 
the moment, the touches seem almost more brilliant ; 
he built up skies under whose movement the canals 
beneath appear small and low ; constantly he took Am- 
sterdam as a Motif with which he raised the harmony 
of light and colour and line, in rhythmic swellings, 



112 The Hague School: Introduction 

into a symphonic poem. Later again, Breitner set 
up the great town movement of Amsterdam, piece 
by piece, full of colour and full of life, against the 
old background of the canals or the Dam, with 
mighty and vigorous strokes. But neither has repre- 
sented the imperishable type of the old trading-city, 
in all its complicated essence of restfulness and 
bustle, with such absolute completeness as Matthijs 
Maris. 

Thijs Maris went to France in 1869 at the instigation 
of his mother, who did not know what to do with this 
unpractical son of hers who preferred to erase and 
hide his work rather than sell it. Jaap, who was 
always good to his brothers, had invited him to Paris, 
where he was living with his wife and child, and it 
was no great burden to him to receive the ascetic 
Thijs into his household. 

The parting with his output continued to be the 
difficulty which Thijs was ever less and less able to 
surmount. Jaap has described how Thijs would work 
at the most exquisite things, until the time came 
when the picture could easily be finished in a 
day. Then he would upset the whole work and 
utterly refuse to be convinced of its excellence. He 
painted, for instance, a Mother and Child for which 
Mrs. Jacob Maris and her baby sat. This, according 
to Jacob, developed into one of his finest pictures, 
both as regards the faces and, in particular, the 
modelling of the child's little legs and feet. When 
it was almost finished, he began to paint it all over 
again, in a stiff, old-German fashion, and to make 
it look like a Cranach, with the result that all his 
work was wasted. 





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IN THE SLUMS — MATTHIJS MARIS 
(27f^ property of Jonkhccr J. R. H. Ncervoort van de Poll, Dricbcrgen) 



The Hague School: Introduction lU 

Nevertheless, Thijs produced some of his most 
charming pictures in Paris, such as, in 1870, his View 
of a Town and, in 1874, The Butterflies, that sunny 
page in his work : a little girl, in a blue frock, with 
a face lit up with an indescribable smile, not unlike 
those which curl the lips of Leonardo's women, her 
hair the colour of that old red gold of which Wagner 
speaks; this fairy-like, but positively-rendered child, 
in an environment of Dutch sand-dunes, in which the 
sweetbriar grows around her and, a little further on, 
the sedge stands in rhythmical rows ; and two butter- 
flies, at which the child reaches with upraised hand, 
in the sultry summer sky. A little before this, he 
painted The Woman baking Cakes, that half- mediaeval, 
half-modern, French- Flemish kitchen interior, a pearl- 
grey master-piece that has its home in the Mesdag 
Museum ; also the magnificent Montmarire, of which, 
as of The Butterflies, a second similar work is in 
existence; drawings of Gretchens, or, at least, of the 
type which we call Gretchens; of churches with 
figures, sketches executed on his travels or from 
memories of them, such as the interesting Black 
Forest drawings. The View of Lausanne, the scarcely 
rivalled Outskirts of a Town, the Three Mills: memories 
also of Oosterbeek; and portraits, of which that of 
Artz the painter is a model of simplicity in the 
rendering of a face. 

Amid all these works imbued with the peace of 
by-gone centuries, in the midst of the thought which 
he devoted both to the conception of his subject and 
to its immaculate execution came the Commune, 
which coincided so entirely with his views, but in 
which, nevertheless, this Hamlet-like nature took part 

8 



114 The Hague School: Introduction 

not of his own will, but because he was enrolled 
in the Municipal Guard and was therefore automati- 
cally transferred to the troops of the Commune. 

After the Commune, Jacob Maris left Paris, leaving 
Thijs behind him. Although Matthijs worked and 
occasionally sold a picture (Goupil's bought his 
Butterflies for ^^50, which was not a bad price at 
the time, although the picture has since fetched forty 
times as much), he passed years of distress before, 
in 1877, he was discovered in a sorry plight by 
young Van Wisselingh, the son of the artistic art- 
dealer of the Hague, at whose suggestion he went 
to London. 

There was a time when innocent sceptics had 
drawn a Hne through his name. But, slowly and 
gradually, through works despatched by Van Wisse- 
lingh's London branch to Amsterdam, through auc- 
tions at which his early works came under the 
hammer and through select exhibitions, the wonderful 
personality became a living thing to us, the dreamer 
better known to us; his stately fancies roused new 
sensations; and, when the masters of the Hague 
school, in 1890, had already displayed the extent 
of their glorious talent, Matthijs Maris revealed 
himself in his full force, of past and present, as the 
noblest of our possessions. And this revelation 
concerned not only his sovereign imagination, but 
also his peerless knowledge and the perfection of his 
workmanship. 

There came a time, in this English period of his, 
when Thijs Maris, who was, as the poet Surnburne 
has said of Blake, " beautifully unfit for walking in 
the way of any other man," was no longer content to 



DUCKS IN THEIR ELEMENT— WILLEM MARIS 
{The property oj Mr. P. Langcrhuyzen, Biissum) 



The Hague School: Introduction 115 

paint things in their sheer being, as they were, when 
complete representation made way for imagination, for 
the dreams that haunted him, when his thoughts 
wandered aside in lonely musings that brought before 
his eyes forms which defied all positive knowledge, 
musings that summoned poetic figures which he 
endeavoured to grasp and to embody. And these 
figures were full of life : laughing with their perturbing 
smiles as in The Butterflies; more monumental in 
the etching of the woman with the distaff; fleeting 
joyfully towards the heyday of life like The Bride ; 
figures of exquisite refinement as in Priinavera, of a 
princess's fairy-tale as in The Promenade or in The Lady 
of Shalott : all with that intensity of life which thrills 
in its pure form, all with something of the exquisite 
longing for life of the Florence of Botticelli and Da 

Vinci His figures, monumental and child-like, 

constitute a type of woman of their own : they are 
women through and through, with something of the 
child and something of the bacchante, Juliet rather 
than Beatrice, living and full of life, rhythmical of 
shape and, at the same time, figures of light, with 
raised hands and sphinx-like smiles, a wonder in our 
day, a wonder of feminine charm and, lasdy, an 
exotic flower budding in a suburb of Puritan London, 
reversing Taine's theory of environment. 

Outwardly considered, Willem Maris, the youngest 
of the brothers, has little or nothing in common 
with Matthijs, as regards either the technique or 
the conception of his subjects. Nevertheless, there 
are studies and also pictures of the Oosterbeek 
period in which all the three brothers show an 



ii6 The Hague School: Introduction 

inward similarity with one another ; there are carefully- 
executed sketches in which we find a closer link 
between Willem and Thijs than between Willem 
and Jaap Maris. And, like Bosboom and Israels, 
the three Marises all have something of the central 
point round which all Dutch art revolves : Rembrandt. 
In Willem Maris, this lies in the expression of the 
sunlight, in the broad, sketchy touch, in that pure 
impressionism of which Rembrandt, in his later period, 
appeared to be the originator. 

Willem seems to have "arrived" at an early date, 
for we know, through Gerard Bilders, that the fame of 
his talent reacted Amsterdam as early as 1863 through 
his two little pictures. Cattle at a Pond and Young 
Calves at the Milk-pail, which he sold for ^^ 1 2 each 
at the same Hague exhibition at which Thijs received 
^i6 for his Back Slum. Willem Maris was then 
just nineteen. Mauve has hold how, at Oosterbeek, 
a pale, delicate little lad came up to him and modestly 
asked leave to introduce himself and to accompany 
him, so that they might work together: 

"At first," says Mauve, "I did not feel much 
inclined to agree, but I did not like to refuse the 
little fellow flatly, so we went off together. My 
companion did not suffer from loquacity ; and, coming 
to a field with cows in it, I sat down to go on 
with a drawing which I had begun that morning. 
The little chap strolled around a bit and then settled 
down to work himself. We sat there for hours under 
the pollards, until I grew curious to see what the 
little fellow was at. He sat sketching with a bit of 
chalk ; but, oh ! I stood astounded. I seized him by 





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The Hague School: Introduction 117 

the hand and stammered in my turn, 'My boy, what an 
artist you are ! You stagger me ! It^s magnificent !' " 

Even as with Jacob, so for Willem a painting 
has always been a material reproduction of a mo- 
mentary aspect of nature. His glorious ditches with 
their waving reeds, with the gold-green duckweed, 
so full of rich colour, are the synthesis of a series 
of close observations of such a character that their 
expression, synchronizing with the painter's mood 
and with an impregnable truthfulness, presents a scene, 
simple in itself, so marvellously that we learn through 
it to see and admire nature. Willem Maris is the 
last of the great lyrical painters of our time. His 
sentiment is what it was in the glorious days of 
1880 to 1890 and there is none too approach him 
in that artistry in which every point of view at once 
becomes lyrical. 

Anton Mauve has not the depth of colour, nor 
the rich palette, nor the powerful and supple touch, 
nor the rhythmical line, nor the symphonic composition 
of the Marises. He does not wield the plastic 
powers of Jozef Israels. And, compared with Millet, 
whose influence and personality held perhaps even 
greater sway over the painters of northern countries 
than over the Parisians, Mauve is so domestic, so 
unspeakably simple, that the two painters are not to 
be named in one breath. Millet — and herein lay 
his greatness — saw the peasants in the great biblical 
simplicity of their existence. His art is a sentimental 
art, full of style, representing the husbandmen with 
all the purity of form of the ancient Greeks. Mauve's 



ii8 The Hague School: Introduction 

relationship with Millet lies in the inward calmness 
with which they both set down the little actions of 
the simple labourers, without comment. But Millet's 
was a more far-searching formula, whereas Mauve's 
best works, his water-colour drawings, are more spon- 
taneous. He followed the old painters, the Ostades and 
Esaias van de Velde, but he was more refined in 
his representation ; he had a modernity that was all 
his own. 

It is a sort of privilege to find, in the shop of a 
Paris art-dealer, one of these drawings of Mauve's 
surrounded by an environment of French boudoir 
art, an environment in which this drawing is even 
more full of surprises than an old Dutch painting 
in a foreign museum. It is pleasant to admire the 
unartificiality, the delicate truthfulness of it; to 
contemplate just that ditch, with the little white 
goat, among all those cold and clever things. 

To this first period belong those masterly studies 
of calves on the dunes and in the fields, painted so 
firmly and broadly; those scenes on the sea-shore 
with donkeys, horses, fishing-boats drawn up on the 
beach, brown horses in the silky light of the Scheveningen 
sands; those delicate, grey roads; those water-ways 
with the sluggish barges; those admirable pictures 
of cows. 

Compared with the Marises and Israels, Mauve*s 
pictures of the Laren period are sometimes dry 
and colourless and inferior both to his earlier work 
and to the water-colours which he produced at 
Oosterbeek or in the dunes. They have not the 
same power of colour or of workmanship as his 
earlier studies of cows, nor the attentiveness of his 




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The Hague School: Introduction 119 

water-colours: they betray a certain weariness and 
hurry. 

And yet, in his later drawings, he never entirely 
lost his touch, never neglected the delicacy of the 
representation. He painted the still, pearl-grey days 
of autumn and winter, when the sheep stand out 
warm against the withered green of the meadows 
and the labour in the fields is confined to ploughing 
and potato-digging ; or when the snow lies untouched 
over the farms; or when there is thaw in the air 
and pale-yellow and lilac streaks appear above the 
sheep-fold. Or else he painted those exquisite days 
marked by neither sun nor wind, white days on which, 
as they say in Overijssel, " the weather stands listen- 
ing:" this is the atmosphere in which he preferred 
to place his figures. 

Mauve was born at Zaandam in 1838 and died in 
1888. He was taught at Haarlem by the animal- 
painter P. F. van Os and by Wouter Verschuur 
(181 2-1874), the gifted but not powerful follower of 
Wouwerman. At Oosterbeek, he painted in the 
company, especially, of Bilders and, later, of the 
Marises, without whom he himself declared that he 
would never have become the personality which we 
recognize in him and value. 

Among the talented and honest admirers of Mauve, 
the first place is occupied by Francois Pieter ter 
Meulen, born in 1843, who was intended for literature, 
but studied painting instead under H. van de Sande 
Bakhuijzen. He never possessed the purely pictorial 
point of view of his illustrious exemplar and his 
colouring, generally, is somewhat cold. Nevertheless, 



I20 The Hague School: Introduction 

in his water-colour in the Mesdag Museum, A D rente 
Sheepfold by nighty the colour is higher than we usually 
find in Ter Meulen. 

Many other Dutch painters of similar current 
subjects have, with more or less success, followed 
the fluctuations of the American market, that degrad- 
ing market which now, as in Mauve's day, asks 
one year for "Sheep going to pasture" and the 
next for "Sheep returning" and the year after for 
something else, much as the height and breadth 
of our hyacinths is laid down for us by the exigencies 
of Anglo-American taste. Mauve himself suffered 
from these conditions in a certain measure, as did 
all our leading painters. Jacob Maris would receive 
a commission for four pictures all of the same size, 
all four to contain white clouds ; Jozef Israels is asked 
for countless replicas of his works or else has orders 
for pictures with one or more figures, according to the 
sum to be expended on the purchase; Gabriel and 
Weissenbruch are asked for windmills to the exclusion 
of all else. Hence, the appearance of the American 
dollar would be unwelcome in the midst of our 
art, but for the fact that great painters commit 
these domestic crimes as it were with the left hand 
and that the reaction against this degrading toil gives 
birth to the purest works and to moments of inspiration. 
Only the weak succumb. 

At a time when the nineteenth-century sea-painters, 
in imitation of Ludolph Bakhuijzen, composed their 
tempestuous seas as the history-painters composed 
their historical episodes ; at a time when they threw 



The Hague School: Introduction 121 

a huge wave in the foreground in the shade the 
better to enhance the effect of light towards the 
horizon ; at a time when they dramatized the sky 
and the waves in accordance with the horrors of the 
shipwreck depicted, Hendrik Willem Mesdag came, 
with his direct, realistic point of view, to surprise 
the world with the fact that the unbiased painting 
of the sea, straight from nature, was not only possible, 
but even so desirable that the aspects of the North 
Sea coast were now for the first time, in the nine- 
teenth century, represented as they appeared daily 
before our eyes. 

It does not often happen that one who has sat 
on a high stool in his father's office until his thirty- 
fifth year ends by becoming a painter, even though 
he may have sketched and painted in his spare 
moments. The greatest painters tried to dissuade 
Mesdag, who was born in 1831, from his plan. 
But a man like Mesdag is not so easily dissuaded; 
moreover, he was firmly supported by his wife, who 
herself afterwards became a deserving artist. For 
that matter, if all men followed the wise counsels 
lavished upon them in their youth, there would never 
have been a great man in the world. In any case, 
Mesdag, with his wife, went to Brussels in 1866. 
He there found his friend and kinsman Alma 
Tadema and also the Dutch landscape-painter Roelofs. 

In the summer of 1868, Mesdag visited Norderney, 
not so much for the purpose of painting, as for 
relaxation and health. This visit was to be for him 
what the stay at Zandvoort was for Israels. He 
brought back with him a series of studies so fresh 
and original that they decided his career for good 



122 The Hague School: Introduction 

and all. From an industrious pupil he had become 
an original painter. In the same year, he settled at 
the Hague, so as to be near Scheveningen, and, in 
1870, he received the gold medal in Paris for a 
sea-piece. The fact that the French painters were 
readier than the Dutch to admit Mesdag*s talent in 
doubtless due to this, that his simple, natural, artless 
realism seemed to them refreshing after their own 
affected academicism and the profundity of the Bar- 
bizon men, whom the Parisians had never understood. 
There is something so open in his work, so much 
frankness in his subjects and their treatment, such 
an utter absence of introspectiveness, that one could 
almost describe his pictures as decorative, although 
this is not wholly the case, for the painter loves 
above all things the broad whitenass of the open 
air and, if he does not always find unity in the light, 
it is there in the treatment, so that Mesdag's least 
scrawl possesses the allure which distinguishes his 
completed paintings wherever exhibited. This painter, 
ill-suited to spend his life on an office-stool, was not 
the one to sit patiently bending over the easel, 
plunged in the secrets of his craft; and we may 
here seek the reason why he did not achieve fame 
in the land of pure painting so early as in France. 

Mesdag may be described as the transition between 
landscape-painters like the Marises and Hendrik 
Johannes Weissenbruch. In neither of the two artists 
is colour the impelling force of his art : form, rather, 
predominates. The white clouds in Weissenbruch's 
pictures are connected with the landscape through 
their outline; they counterbalance the mills, the 




FISHING SMACKS RETURNING TO 
SCHEVENINGEN — H. W. MESDAG 




^ ^^ 



The Hague School: Introduction 123 

houses and trees by their form rather than that they 
exist as the result of a logical connection of the light 
falling on the earth, as in the more symphonic compo- 
sitions of Jacob Maris. 

What matter if Weissenbruch, nicknamed the merry 
Weis, was not the man to sink into his own moods? 
All roads lead to Rome ! He belonged to the real 
stamp of those landscape-painters who, starting betimes, 
receive quick impressions, ready subjects, nimbly- 
seized moments of the day. He was a passionate 
fisherman and, perhaps more than any other, caught 
the atmospheric influences on the marshy lands, the 
construction of the broad pools and water-ways and 
dykes and polders, while his water-colour sketches 
are about the finest in modern Dutch art. 

This artist did not receive the public recognition 
due to him until late in life. It is true that he had 
never to complain of lack of appreciation by the 
artists. And then his early pictures were so different: 
works with fine artistic qualities, better works per- 
haps than his later, somewhat too facile productions. 
Still, like most of the painters of his generation, 
Weissenbruch delivered his purest work after 1870. 
He was born at the Hague in 1824 and died in 
1890. The Dutch Frenchman, Victor Bauffe, and 
De Bock were both pupils of his. 

Although Paul Jozeph Constantin Gabriel was 
also impressed by the low clouds hanging over flat 
polders, this delicate painter never belonged to the 
real impressionists in manner and one might more 
justly describe as natural problems, scientifically 
solved, his polders, his canals with windmills, 



124 The Hague School: Introduction 

his expanses of water with eel-traps, with the light 
reflected in the water or influencing the land. 
For they are rendered with so much certainty, so 
much calmness and precision that they place the 
spectator in the presence of a fact that admits of no 
discussion. Speaking of these somewhat concrete 
landscapes, Gabriel used to say that he preferred 
subjects that did not contain much in themselves. 
And no simpler subjects could well be imagined: 
great splashes of water, which he selected in the 
bogs round Giethoom, in which the only accident 
is a punt, an eel- trap or a duck-fence ; canals cutting 
straight and square through the fields, with the tall 
windmill at the end ; pools with a few willows ; huts 
by the water-side. And all painted with the simplest 
means, clearly and thinly, with finely-chiselled outlines. 
Gabriel carried his painting so completely in his head 
that the setting down of it on canvas seemed to cost 
him no trouble and scarce a repentir. To make sure 
of his tone, he used to place the picture upside-down 
or sideways on his easel. He was one of the few 
Dutch painters whose delicate poetry was understood in 
Paris. Geflroy, writing of the Dutch exhibitors, 
rarely mentions any save Israels and Gabriel. 

Gabriel was born in Amsterdam in 1828. He 
received his first tuition at the Amsterdam Academy 
and afterwards went to the landscape school set 
up by B. C. Koekkoek at Qeves. He lived for 
some time in Brussels and settled at the Hague 
in 1884, when the Hague school was at the height of 
its fame. He died in 1903. Gabriel's chief pupil is 
W. B. Tholen, who worked in his studio in Brussels. 



CHAPTER VIII 
INTERMEZZO 

An attempt has been made in this volume to 
group the nineteenth-century painters. The Hague 
masters, in particular, have been collected under the 
heading of the Hague school, which, however, can 
hardly be made to include such painters as Jongkind, 
the Oyens brothers or Alma Tadema. And yet, 
even as Bisschop is essentially related to Tadema 
and, properly speaking, has very little in common 
with the Hague school, so Jongkind is essentially 
related to this particular circle. 

If we could lay side by side a beach-scene by 
Bosboom, one by Weissenbruch in the Mesdag 
Museum and one by Jongkind in the Hoogendijk 
collection, water-colours all three, we should be struck 
by the same sensitive sureness of construction, the 
same manner of design, the same treatment in each 
case. It is true that Bosboom and Weissenbruch 
were pupils of B. J. van Hove and that Weissen- 
bruch and Jongkind were also pupils of Schelfhout. 

Jongkind's art, like Bosboom's, was rooted in 
Schelfhout, the master whom he always held so high ; 
and, like Bosboom again, Jongkind, with his water- 



126 Intermezzo 

colours, came near to the most modern feeling: to 
Monet, Pissarro and Sisley. Edmond de Goncourt 
constantly praises him ; and, not long ago, the writer 
heard a modern Parisian artist tell how, at Durand- 
Ruel's, where a Jongkind was hanging among a 
number of Monets, Sisleys, Seurats and Maufras, 
he had said to Pisarro that all these things seemed 
feeble beside Jongkind, whereupon Pissaro replied: 

" Yes, if he had not existed, none of us would 
have been here." 

Despite his modernity, he was and remained a 
genuine Hollander. Year after year, he left Paris 
for the pools between Rotterdam and Dordrecht. 
He sketched his water-colours direct from nature 
and painted his pictures from them. When, in 1891, 
the year of his death, his works were exhibited 
before the auction at the H6tel Drouot, all Paris 
stood amazed not at the paintings, which were known 
to every connoisseur, but at the exquisite, fresh, 
spontaneous water-colour sketches. 

Gustave Geffroy called him the inventor of the 
atmospheric shades, but, at the same time, admired 
in him the careful composition, the fine division into 
back- and foreground peculiar to the old Dutchmen. 
Despite the appreciation which he met with, things 
did not go well with him. He appears to have 
been content to earn his 3,000 francs a year, whereas 
his Maas at Rotterdam was sold, in 1892, for 28,000 
francs and his Canal at Brussels for 17,000 francs, 
not to speak of the comparatively even higher prices 
fetched by his water-colours. 

Johan Bartholt Jongkind was born in 18 19 at 
Latdrop, near Ootmarsum, and died in 1891 at C6te- 




X I 
o 



Intermezzo 127 

Saint-Andr6, mourned by his Parisian colleagues for 
both personal and artistic reasons. Holland must admit 
that she did but little for this pure national painter. 
Boymans' Museum bought a Moonlight Scene of 
his and the dealers occasionally exhibit one of his 
precious little paintings or some of those water-colour 
drawings which roused so much admiration at the H6tel 
Drouot after his death and won for him that unstinted 
recognition for which he yearned when living. 

There is another painter, or rather there are two 
others who worked all their lives in a neighbouring 
county as real descendants of the seventeenth century, 
robust and delicate, artists and observers, painters 
of still-life and painters of manners, combining the 
palette of a Brouwer with a structure of line not 
unlike that of the classic Degas, while either their 
own nature or their long residence in Brussels caused 
them to couple the copiousness of a Jordaens with 
Adriaan Brouwer's greater delicacy. The work of 
these two brothers, David and Pieter Oyens, has, 
in point of fact, little in common with our modern 
Dutch art; at any rate, their work has none of 
the sentiment or emotion displayed by this art, 
though they had a very correct sense of what we 
call "values." They selected the subjects of their 
pictures for the most part in their studio, where the 
brothers sat to each other by turns, sometimes with 
a third or fourth figure added. One of them is 
turning over a portfolio, or painting, or peering 
through his eye-lashes at the model, or arranging 
his palette while the model is getting ready to pose. 
They supplemented this with new attitudes or curious 



128 Intermezzo 

incidents, observed in a caf6, which they studied 
together, one of them the next day adopting the 
pose with a full sense of the situation. In this way, 
that witty litde piece came into being in which a 
broad-backed man is holding an open newspaper 
before him, the paper forming a diagonal across the 
reader's outspread arms, and also The Beer-drinkers^ 
which is so very old-Dutch — just a figure at a little 
table — and at the same time so modern, taken as 
it is from life. Sometimes we see more complicated 
little scenes, such as Le Farceur, who is amusing a 
couple of servant-girls. 

The difference between David and Pieter is consider- 
able. Pieter was the robuster of the two in his 
work, more flamand perhaps, whereas David's talent 
was more supple and pliant, his workmanship more 
delicate, his wit more abundant. Pieter was the 
sturdy worker who, producing with greater difficulty, 
brought forth good and solid work; David was the 
one who gave life to things. 

These two real painters were born in 1830 (they 
were twins) of an important Amsterdam commercial 
family and it is surprising to see how little their 
birth hampered them and what thorough painters 
they were, reading little (except Dickens, whom they 
read from cover to cover) : painters, no more and no 
less. They received their education in Brussels under 
Portails and in Amsterdam under P. F. Greive. 
Pieter died in 1894 ^^id David eight years later. 

Very different from the quiet life of these two 
artists is that of the Parisian Dutchman, Fr6d6ric 
Henri Kaemmerer, who, born at the Hague in 1839, 




AFTER THE DAY'S WORK — DAVID OYENS 

{The property of Jonkhcer C. N. Storm van ' s-Gravesandc, Schevenitigen) 



Intermezzo 129 

gradually freed himself from the culture of his native 
land and cleverly conquered a place of his own in 
the French art of the Salon. He excels in the 
reproduction of Directoire costume and has made a 
name by his Wedding and his Baptism under the 
Directoire. The photogravures of these paintings have 
been favourites even in Holland and the former 
has been reproduced as a living picture at wedding- 
feasts innumerable. We are compelled to admire 
the cleverness of his pretty figures, with their coquettish 
colouring, even though that cleverness lies entirely 
outside the frontiers of our own art of painting. 
Nevertheless, Kaemmerer, who has since painted 
mondain subjects for the Paris Gobelins factory, 
began by painting familiar Dutch topics. He ex- 
hibited a Wood-cutters in 1863 and also had a 
few subjects in common with his friend Artz. 

In mentioning the English "Sir Lawrence," I run 
a danger of being accused of wishing to adorn the 
cap of Dutch painting with a foreign feather. It 
is true that Laurens Alma Tadema, born at Dronrijp 
in 1836, in accepting naturalization, fairly turned his 
back on his countrymen. But the early period of this 
painter's career is inseparable from the Leeuwarder 
Bisschop, while his first years of tutelage under 
Leys, whose art constituted a renascence of the old 
Dutchmen and Flemings, added to the fact that he 
was the master of Mesdag, cause Tadema to figure 
at least in part in the history of Dutch painting. 

It is easy to see that Alma Tadema and Bisschop 
came from the same district. There are so many 
points of unison in their view of their art; both 

9 



I30 Intermezzo 

were wholly immersed in by-gone times, although 
Bisschop's Hinlopen is of very much more recent 
date than Tadema's Pompeii or Byzantium ; while 
their minute rendering of antique objects with no 
other aim than to serve as a scene and setting for 
the figures makes them, however greatly they may 
differ from each other, stand side by side as against 
the Hague masters, their contemporaries. And 
there was reason enough for this in Friesland. When 
these two painters were young, many Leeuwarder 
woman still wore their gorgeous costume, with its 
Eastern cachet : the free Frisians had not yet submitted 
to the shackles of Paris or London fashions. And, 
although, probably, as boys, they paid but little 
attention to this circumstance, the difference must 
have made all the greater impression upon them in 
their subsequent residence at Antwerp and the Hague. 
Add this fact, that Friesland contains not only a mass 
of Merovingian antiquites, distributed over the private 
houses as well the museums, but also many treasures 
of artistic craftmanship of the eighteenth century and 
earlier, so that the love of pretty things grew in 
these painters with their imagination and their 
memory. Again, the dallying with the past, the 
search for historical surroundings formed part of the 
time in which they both "arrived," although Tadema 
was a good deal younger than Bisschop. 

Alma Tadema enjoyed the privilege not only of 
having Leys for a master, but of assisting him, in 
1859, with his frescoes for the Antwerp Town-hall, 
which at once introduced him to monumental painting. 
It is a pity that Tadema did not keep more to this 
trend, even as, from a Dutch point of view, it is 




w 

Q 
< 

^ ^- 
^ O 

c« -St 
fa V 

w -^ 
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Intermezzo 131 

to be regretted that heallowedhimself to be diverted 
from his first artistic ideas, possibly by German 
influences. 

I do not propose to trace the career of this well- 
known painter, who was a Frisian by birth, a Belgian 
by training, an archeologist by inclination ; who, it 
is true, had Mesdag for a pupil, but finds his followers 
in London ; and who has exercised no influence upon 
modem Dutch art and has remained uninfluenced 
by it. Not his manner of reproducing textures, 
nor his composition (and herein lies his chief force), 
nor his workmanship, nor his colouring, nor even his 
modelling or drawing is Dutch or ever has been 
Dutch. His art has always been decorative, even 
as our seventeenth-century art and that of the 
nineteenth-century Hague painters are, in their essence, 
concentrated. He has never been anything of a 
tonalist, not even in the more pictorial sketch of 
Willem van Saefiinghen^ which, after the manner of 
the great Leys, has something rather of the hot 
colouring of burnt glass. He has never envied 
anything in the modern Dutchmen, as, from the 
start, he saw colour prettily as colour and, in a 
cunning sequence of equivalents (see his Prcetex- 
tatus in the Amsterdam Municipal Museum), set it 
down flat and smooth into a well-ordered colour- 
scheme, governed not so much by lines as by a 
monumental architecture amid whose forms the 
figures play their decorative parts. To imagine that 
Alma Tadema looked for colour only in the second 
place would lead to mistaken conclusions, for, although 
his art is not emotional, he does not belong to the 
literary painters and all his works, although decorative 



132 Intermezzo 

rather than purely pictoral, are " observed" from the 
painter's point of view. Nevertheless, superb as is 
the composition of his larger paintings, as in his 
Vintage Festivals and PrcBtextattcs ; unsurpassed as is 
the cleverness of his reproduction of marbles, of 
textile fabrics; beautiful as is the colouring of his 
smaller pieces, the quality in which he excels first and 
foremost is that in which all the figure-painters of 
all time have ever excelled in England: the depict- 
ing of pretty Englishwomen in nicely-chosen attitudes. 
Whether the great painters of the eighteenth century, 
in a more frivolous age, painted the charms of 
Lady Hamilton as a bacchante, or Rossetti imbued 
his English models with the passion of a Juliet or 
the sensual charm of a Venus Astarte, or Lord 
Leighton, following Ingres' example, gave them the 
impassivity of goddesses, or Alma Tadema, in his 
turn, paints Englishwomen as Pandora or Sappho or 
dancing at a vintage festival or reclining upon panther- 
skins, they remain, for all that, with their fair, full 
faces, their phlegmatic movements, their studied 
attitudes, their invariable classic outlines, types of 
English beauty of their day. Here we have the 
lasting side of Alma Tadema's art. His archaeological 
pictures may prove his originality and his sound 
acquaintance with by-gone ages ; but it is the beauty 
of his female types that gives them their value. 




THE FIRST LESSON — ALBERT NEUHUIJS 

{Mniiicipal Miiscnm, Dordnxlit) 



CHAPTER IX 
THE HAGUE SCHOOL: SEQUEL 

Albert Neuhuijs, Blommers and Artz followed the 
example of Israels and infused new life into our art 
of ^^«r^-painting. 

Neuhuijs belongs to the school of Israels in his 
choice of subjects and to that of Jacob Maris in 
his colouring. He has shown himself a painter of 
feeling who is able to represent the calm workaday 
life of the people of Laren or Brabant in a natural 
and unforced manner: a woman tending her child, 
or preparing dinner, or watering flowers; an elder 
sister teaching a younger child to knit: all against 
the rich red of a cupboard, or a white wall, or a 
low dresser. Although his work of 1875 ^o 1885 
possesses the solid merits of the cabinet-painters and 
will undoubtedly stand the test of time, he altered 
his methods afterwards to this extent, that he now 
paints in the houses themselves that form the back- 
ground of his subjects, thus giving a more spontaneous 
effect, although he misses the precious side of his 
earlier pieces. The studio gives him no ideas and 
so he goes off with his big canvases to those Laren 



134 The Hague School: Sequel 

interiors where, as he says, " nature herself places 
the colours in his hands and the movements and 
attitudes of the figures are there, in their natural 
environment." And, even if the picture, as such, 
suffers occasionally through the defective lighting of 
his work, we gain the natural little child-figures upon 
which, in the ripe tone of the whole picture, the 
sunny light falls that gilds a profil perdu, a downy 
neck, a head of yellow hair. 

Albert Neuhuijs was born at Utrecht in 1 844 and 
received his first instruction at the hands of Gijs- 
bertus Craeyvanger, studying later at the Antwerp 
Academy. He began as a history-painter in the 
Antwerp manner and is said to have excelled at 
that time in the painting of satin. The portraits of 
women which he produced during this period were 
noted for their elegance. He did not begin to 
turn his attention to the painting of interiors until 
1870 or later. 

Bemardus Johannes Blommers, the youngest of this 
generation of painters, was born at the Hague in 
1845. He is a pupil of Bisschop and of the Hague 
Academy, but he formed himself and his work has 
nothing in common with that of his master, nothing 
of Israels and but little of Jacob Maris, whom he 
admires above all others. As against the tender 
conception of his subjects displayed by Neuhuijs, 
Blommers sees his fisher-folk from the glad and robust 
side. There is a great contrast between his sturdy 
children of the sea and Israels' frail, pensive creations. 
Like most painters, he began by producing power- 
fully-drawn small figures, like that strong picture, 




mother's joy — B. J. BLOMMEKS 
(Municipal Museum, Amsterdam) 



UNIVERSITY 




MOURNING — D. A. C. ARTZ 

{Maison Artz, the Hague) 



The Hague School: Sequel 135 

Maternal Joys, at the Municipal Museum in Amsterdam : 
a cabinet-piece which possesses every quality save 
that of atmosphere. It belongs to the time when 
our painters felt more strongly bound to the old 
masters and to their model, the time when the trend 
towards wider harmonies, subtler analyses of colour, 
quicker solutions of light was still slumbering. 
However delicately treated and powerfully modelled, 
the young mother in this picture already shows that 
healthy side of his art which, afterwards, about 1882, 
found its most forcible expression in The Fish-woman^ 
engaged in gutting fish, in the Hague Museum : a 
strong figure painted in deep red tones, against 
which the white of the fish lying on the red tiles 
in the foreground stands out as a delightful still- life, 
completing the warm browns and reds of this truly 
imposing work. 

Next to or together with Hein Burgers, David 
Adolphe Constant Artz was undoubtedly Israels' 
principal pupil. He first came into contact with 
Israels at the evening- classes under Royer at the 
Amsterdam Academy, where he painted by day from 
the living model, under Egenberger. From that time, 
he worked with his master, whom he followed to 
Zandvoort. Afterwards, when he had selected his 
tendency, he resolved to go to Paris, where he became 
very intimate with Jacob and Matthijs Maris (who 
painted the well-known portrait of Artz) and with 
Kaem merer. 

If we compare Artz, Israels' pupil, with his 
master, we are struck by the absence of those mystic 
qualities which the latter's later works reveal and 



136 The Hague School: Sequel 

which Artz admired so whole-heartedly and lacked 
quite consciously in his own work. In a picture 
such as Mournings despite the fine expression of 
sorrow, despite the fine sentiment that places the 
sobbing woman bending forward against the rosy, 
utterly unconscious child, we are struck by the fact 
that this sorrow does not, as it would have done 
were the picture painted by Israels, permeate the 
whole figure, the fall of the folds of the woman's 
dress, the fall of the light, every detail of the apartment, 
which would have been dramatized as it were in 
and through the human tragedy; we see that Artz 
is more positive and more practical, that he prefers 
to follow his model, to give his attention to each 
object and that, from this point of view, the folds 
of that dress are beautifully painted, beautiful too 
and seventeenth-century those squat little baby-shoes 
on that empty floor, a detail upon which Jan Steen 
could not have improved. 

Properly speaking, Artz was one of the first 
realists in our country. Loving nature, he carefully 
followed her in his models and, especially in his studies 
painted from nature, showed a very complete, correct 
and delicate sense of the pale tonalities of beach and 
dunes. He was particularly happy in his open-air 
pictures, in which his work showed a great charm. 
The studies, again, for his most famous picture. The 
Refectory of the Katwijk AlmsJwuse, belong to the best 
and the most original that we possess in this respect. 
Artz was bom in 1837 and died at the Hague in 1 890. 

In addition to Hein Burgers (i 834-1 899), Jozef 
Israels' only actual pupil, who, it is true, adopted mainly 




THE CUP— CHRISTOFFEL BISSCHOP 
(The property of H.M. the Queen of the Netherlands) 



^^S£- 



'"'The' 




p 5 

X - 

I -2 



The Hague School: Sequel 137 

the somewhat morbid side of his intrinsically sound 
and healthy master, but who left some delicately-painted 
little pictures, Valkenburg, the painter of interiors, 
was a faithful and capable follower of Israels. Hendrik 
Valkenburg (18 2 6- 1896) was a painter who was 
prevented by circumstances until he had almost 
attained his fiftieth year from devoting himself, free 
of all school-lessons, to an art to which he had felt 
attracted all his life and in which he eventually 
succeeded in making a respectable name, in the 
style of Israels. He painted farm-house interiors, 
honestly and simply rendered, mostly of those 
enormous Twente kitchens, simply and truthfully 
and well and unpretentiously drawn. Valkenburg once 
related, before falling under the charm of Mauve 
in his Laren period, that Israels had said to him 
that, in every tone and every shadow, a colour 
should retain its own principle, so that blue remained 
blue, red red and so on. The Hague master, the 
inscrutable painter of luminous browns, had long 
abandoned this principle for a less narrow solution 
of light, for a freer analysis of space; but Valken- 
burg held fast to it and we must admit that it 
constitutes his strength. Fot that matter, at Laren 
too and especially in his little kitchen-gardens this 
painter showed great merit. 

Though Bisschop's conception of the interior is not 
related in respect of artlessness and not at all in 
that of the joy of life with the pictures of the old 
"little masters," neither was his conception that of 
Israels or of Jacob Maris. It is true that he gave 
a portrait of the old Hinlopen life, a peinture des 



138 The Hague School: Sequel 

mceurs of the old popular life in Friesland, of everyday 
happenings in the household, but he failed to expand 
it into something generally human. Nor did he aim 
at doing so; for, whereas Jozef Israels looks upon 
things only as a means to increase the expression 
for his model, Bisschop was above all a painter of 
still-life, to whom the figures were necessary attributes 
to give life to the precious objects of a past age 
and to justify their use. Nevertheless, I know 
pictures of Bisschop's in which the figures form the 
main feature, such as those young women standing 
before a mirror or reading at a writing-table; and 
in The Mennonite Supper at Hinlopen figures and 
still-life are very happily combined. 

Christoffel Bisschop was born at Leeuwarden in 
1828. In 1846, after receiving an elementary 
education in his native town, he went to Delft to 
work under Schmidt, then in the zenith of his fame. 
After Schmidt's death, Bisschop studied under Huib 
van Hove. From 1852 to 1855, the year in which 
he settled at the Hague, he worked in the studio 
of Le Comte and Charles Gleyre, formerly the 
Atelier Delaroche, in Paris. He made a considerable 
name. The house which he occupied with his wife, 
an Irish lady by birth, in the woods between the 
Hague and Scheveningen, was arranged as an old 
Frisian dwelling-house and might be looked upon 
as a museum of domestic art. He died recently, 
in 1904. 

The art of painting in water-colours underwent great 
changes in the hands of the Hague masters. A 
water-colour ceased to be either the compact picture 




H "S 



The Hague School: Sequel 139 

in oils which an earlier generation had produced or 
the pencil, chalk or pen-and-ink drawing, lightly- 
washed with colour, of the old masters. In the hands 
of our impressionists, water-colour painting, like oil- 
painting, became an emotional art, an harmonious 
whole, until, with the aid of this thinner medium, 
our Dutch impressionism went further, arrived at 
subtler results and attained a more general modernity 
then the more classic oil-paintings. 

Long before the institution of the exhibitions of 
the famous Hague Sketching Club, the views held 
by the Pulchri Studio Society at the Hague and 
Felix Mentis and Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam 
had given occasion for the display of water-colours. 
At first, these took place only in the evenings. For 
a time, they were attended regularly by Queen 
Sophie and Prince Henry of the Netherlands and 
by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar and his daughter. 
The general public continued reactionary in matters 
of art and I can remember the speeches delivered 
about 1880 on the subject of Jacob Maris' delicious 
water-colour drawings, speeches embodying grue- 
some anticipations concerning the future of an art 
in which sketches, as Maris' drawings were called, 
were exhibited as completed works. And this was 
at a time when Jaap Maris had long been acknow- 
ledged as a master, a title which was denied him 
by the older generation of Hague painters for many 
a long day. 

The original members of the Hague Water-colour 
Society were Van de Sande Bakhuijzen, Miss van de 
Sande Bakhuijzen, Bisschop, Mrs. Bisschop-Swift, 
Bles, Blommers, Bosboom, Henkes, Israels, Jacob 



MO The Hague School: Sequel 

and Willem Maris, Mauve, Mesdag, Sad^e and Pieter 
Stortenbeker. These were immediately joined by 
Artz, Duchattel, Nakken, Albert Neuhuijs, C. S. 
Stortenbeker, E. Verveer and Weissenbruch, as or- 
dinary members; while Alma Tadema in London, 
Alleb6 and J. W. Bilders in Amsterdam, David and 
Pieter Oyens, the Famars Testas, Gabriel and 
Roelofs in Brussels, Rochussen in Amsterdam and 
a few Belgians, including Emile Wouters, and many 
Italians, including, at a later date, Segantini, took 
part in the famous August exhibitions as honorary 
members. 

First, in chronological order, among the minor 
artists of the Hague school is Charles Rochussen, 
born at Rotterdam in 1815, who was looked upon, 
in the latter half of the nineteenth century, as the 
only illustrative talent of importance among us. 
Teyler's Museum at Haarlem has a Hunting Party ^ 
painted in 1857, a scene filled with lords and ladies 
on horseback on a hilly heath in Gelderland, which, 
for observation, delicate drawing and happy colouring, 
is quite excellent of its kind. The Fodor Museum 
in Amsterdam possesses similar litde pieces and also 
a Dog-cart, which is cleverly drawn and admirably 
painted. Rochussen died in 1894. It is a pity 
that this painter of very considerable talent and origi- 
nality was eventually merged, as it were, in the draughts- 
man and illustrator ; and yet he was the only illustra- 
tor of any importance that our country has produced. 

Elchanon Verveer (18 26-1 900), like Israels, Artz 
and Blommers, took his subjects from amid the life 
of the fishermen on the sea-coast. 




Q £ 






The Hague School: Sequel H' 

Pieter Stortenbeker (i 828-1 898), the animal 
painter, may be said to have surpassed both his 
masters, H. van de Sande Bakhuijzen and J. B. Tom. 

Johannes Hubertus Leonardus de Haas, the Guelder 
artist, born in 1828, had the same master as Mauve. 
He moved to Brussels at an early age and, though 
he there learnt to make a perhaps superfluous use 
of white paint, he nevertheless displays, in his Early 
Morning at the Rijksmuseum, a great power of form 
and a strenuous search after atmosphere. 

Julius Jacobus van de Sande Bakhuijzen, born in 
1835, 2- pupil of his father's, is a moderately good 
landscape-painter who has found his level more par- 
ticularly in forest-views. 

Willem Carel Nakken, bom in 1835, ^ P^pil o^ 
Dona's, has some very good paintings with horses 
scattered through various museums. 

Paulus van der Velden, born in 1837 at Rotter- 
dam, is a full-blooded painter of interiors. 

Philip Sad6e, born at the Hague in 1837, is a 
painter not without importance. 

Jozef Hendrikus Neuhuijs (i 841- 1890), a younger 
brother of Albert Neuhuys, displayed a very delicate 
and sensitive talent. 

Gerke Henkes, born at Delftshaven in 1844, en- 
joyed a not undeserved success at a time when 
anecdotal painting was more generally appreciated 
than now. 

Pieter ter Meulen, born in 1843, a pupil of H. van 
de Sande Bakhuijzen, although lacking Mauve's 
fulness of tone, is one of the most honest followers 
of that great painter. 



142 The Hague School: Sequel 

Far above any of these stood Eduard Alphonse 
Victor Auguste van der Meer (i 846-1 899). Although 
he was not a painter of wide scope, he possessed 
the merit of portraying well and faithfully the 
polderlands reclaimed by Weissenbruch and Gabriel. 
If he were not at the same time such a pure painter, 
one might call him the topographer of the pools 
of South Holland, for none of them all was able 
so simply and succinctly as he to write upon the 
smooth surface of those pools, whether in autumn 
or winter, the little accidents pertaining to it: the 
thin reeds, a boat or a belt of underwood. His 
work may be somewhat too even and this is pro- 
bably due to the fact that he was deaf and dumb, 
which caused him to turn his thoughts too much 
upon himself; but, on the other hand, his sense of 
still nature became all the greater. 

A few women-painters belong to this period. 
Henriette Ronner-Knip, born in Amsterdam in 1 8 2 1 , 
a pupil of her father, J. A. Knip (i 777-1847), was 
doubtless the most popular woman-painter of her 
time. From the first, she applied herself to the painting 
of animals, of dogs and especially cats; and she 
owes her name to the natural movements which 
she knew how to give to her pet cats and kittens. 

Maria Philippine Bilders-van Bosse (i 837-1900) 
proved herself a ready pupil of painters such as 
Bosboom, Van de Sande Bakhuijzen and, especially, 
J. W. Bilders, who subsequently became her husband. 
She had a very simple feeling for landscape-painting. 

Sina Mesdag-van Houten, born at Groningen in 
1834, married H. W. Mesdag and began to paint 



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The Hague School: Sequel 143 

at the Hague. She received her first instruction 
(her real education came to her from the French 
painters whose works Mesdag had collected), as far 
as regards drawing, from D'Arnaud Gerkens and she 
declares that she also learnt much from a talented 
woman painter, Harriet Lindo. Mrs. Mesdag has 
proved herself to be an artist of emotional power, 
able to set before us in the grand manner the 
spacious solitude, the startling loneUness and abandon- 
ment of our heaths and dunes. 

Margaretha Vogel-Roosenboom ( 1 84 3- 1 899), grand- 
daughter of Schelfhout and wife of Johannes Gijs- 
bert Vogel (born in 1828), the landscape-painter, 
and Gerardina Jacoba van de Sande Bakhuijzen 
(18 26- 1 89 5) represented the female element at the 
Hague exhibitions and made a fair name for them- 
selves with their flowers and fruit. Technically, the 
latter was the superior of the two ; but the former 
had more artistic feeling, in so far that she selected 
her own arrangement of colour. 

Neither of them possessed the solid talent of their 
senior, Maria Vos, born in 1824 and a pupil of 
Petrus Kiers, whose painting partook rather of the 
old Dutch excellence. She is represented in Boy mans* 
Museum by a picture of still-life which goes to show 
that she is unsurpassed by any woman-painter of this 
style in our country. 

J. B. Tom's mantle may be said to have descended 
upon Johannes Martinus Vrolijk (i 846-1 896), an 
unemotional but serious painter of fields and cattle. 
Vrolijk was a pupil of Pieter Stortenbeker, distinguished 
himself by his own etchings and managed the Pulchri 



144 The Hague School: Sequel 

Studio press, which produced Jacob Maris* Mill 
and so many other famous etchings. 

Richard Bisschop, born at Leeu warden in 1849, 
is a cultured painter of church-interiors, which he 
executes with great thoroughness and completeness. 
Occasionally, in his water-colour drawings of CathoUc 
churches, in the twilight of the columns seen against 
the candle-light and the faint light from outside, he 
shows his relationship with Israels; while, on the 
other hand, his painting reveals the influence of his 
uncle and master, Christoffel Bisschop. 

Marinus Boks (i 849-1 885) was an immediate 
pupil of Mauve's and a pure landscape-painter. In 
the few pictures of his short life known to us, he 
has said something about the dunes that none had 
said before him. Yet it is not possible to judge 
with certainty, because, during his illness, Jacob Maris 
often completed his unfinished pictures for him with 
his own powerful hand. 

Lodewijk Frederik Hendrik (known as Louis) Apol, 
born at the Hague in 1850, was a pupil of the 
Hague Academy, of Johannes Franciscus Hoppen- 
brouwers (181 9-1 866) and of P. Stortenbeker. He 
is a skilful painter, who achieved the full measure 
of his talent at an early age, making a name, when 
only twenty-five, with a snow-piece, A Janttary Day, 
now in the Amsterdam Municipal Museum. 

A more powerful figure is Theophile de Bock, 
born at the Hague in 1851. Although he was a 
pupil of Van Borselen and Weissenbruch, he began 
by painting important landscapes, inspired by Corot, 
and afterwards passed over to Jacob Maris, with 
whose palette, as it were, he painted some quiet pools, 




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The Hague School: Sequel 145 

conceived in a virile manner. He displays his talent 
not only in his earlier pictures, but also and more 
especially in his chalk drawings relieved with a 
touch of colour. Here he shows both strength and 
delicacy and also his later originality, without a certain 
clumsiness which spoils the harmony of his boldly- 
constructed landscapes. 

Johannes Christiaan Karel Klinkenberg, born at 
the Hague in 1852, is a painter of town-views, an 
illusive limner of bright sunlight on house-fronts, quite 
as topographical as Springer, but less colourful, less 
studied in his composition, painting the old buildings 
and squares and canals of our country cleverly and 
unemotionally, in a manner that is always reminiscent 
of his master, Christoffel Bisschop. Klinkenberg is 
a painter of whom one might have expected that he 
would have taken the excellent Jan Weissenbruch, 
with his fine, sound workmanship, for his guide in 
a style which, separately considered, has been pro- 
duced by no later artist with the same amount of truth 
and value. However, he found himself and worked 
out his own ideas, which, if they do not fall within 
the domain of pure painting, are, in any case, popular. 

George Poggenbeek ( 1 8 5 3- 1 902), the Amsterdam 
representative of this generation following immediately 
upon the great Hague masters, has more than any 
other reproduced the sense of this school in his dis- 
tinguished conception of our landscape with meadows 
and cattle, which has been painted in so many 
various ways. To the delicacy of Mauve he added 
the luxurious green which Willem Maris gives us in 

lO 



146 The Hague School: Sequel 

his " duck" motives ; and, though he lacks the passion 
of the latter and the simplicity of the former, he 
commands a daintiness of line, of a more or less 
decorative quality, by which he atones in distinction 
of composition for his shortcomings in power, 

Poggenbeek was destined for commerce ; his inter- 
course with that talented and short-lived painter, 
Hamrath, made him take to drawing and painting 
when he was nineteen. He received his instruction 
from Z. H. Velthuizen, a painter who was not much 
heard of in his day, but who formed a number of 
pupils. He also learnt much from his connection 
with Bastert, with whom he lived for seven years at 
Breukelen. He also painted in Normandy and 
Brittany : fresh, bright town-views drawn with a quick 
sense of French nature. 

Nicolaas Bastert, bom at Marseveen in 1854, is 
a pure landscape-painter, a pupil of the Antwerp and 
Amsterdam Academies and of Marinus Heyl. He 
formed himself more especially at the Hague, under 
the influence of the clarity of Mauve and the Marises, 
and has produced good work in a strong and restful 
manner : views on the Vecht, subjects taken from the 
Amsterdam water-ways, also old castles. He excels 
particularly in views of rivers and other waters. 

Fredericus Jacobus van Rossum Duchatel, bom 
at Leiden in 1856, attained fame as a painter, both 
at home and abroad, thanks to the natural facility 
of his talent, for he had no other masters than the 
painters and paintings he observed around him. He 
was known in particular for those Vecht views which 




WINTER LANDSCAPE— F. J. VAN ROSSUM DUCHATTEL 
{^Municipal Museum, the Hague) 





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{III the possession of the Artist at Nieuwersluis) 



The Hague School: Sequel 147 

Bastert rendered in a more pictorial fashion. He pos- 
sesses a dexterity in painting with water-colour which 
would, I verily believe, enable him te set down a 
view of the Vecht on a brown-paper coffee-bag as 
easily as on a sheet of Whatman drawing-paper. 
From the beginning, this sort of water, with country- 
villas, summer-houses and barges along its banks, 
formed his favourite subject. 

Jacobus Simon Hendrik Kever, born in Amster- 
dam in 1854, is a pupil of P. F. Greive, but soon 
began to follow in the footsteps of Albert Neuhuijs. 
He appears to belong to those painters who, endowed 
with a good palette and an easy method of painting, 
require another's formula in order to be able to 
express themselves. And often our Amsterdam Kever 
paints excellent Neuhuijs pictures, notable for good 
workmanship and a fine composition. 

Tony Lodewijk George Offermans, born in 1854 
at the Hague, paints shop-interiors, somewhat in 
the style of the Hague school with an admixture 
of the earlier Mesker, well-painted pieces which have 
a merit of their own, thanks to the capital work- 
manship and the faithful rendering of the types repre- 
sented. He is a pupil of Blommers and, indirectly, 
of Artz ; and, what is more, he is the son of our 
greatest lyrical singer, Mrs. S. Offermans-van Hove, 
who came of a family that has always produced 
painters and musicians. 

The portrait-painters of this period were Th6r^e 
Schwartze, bom in Amsterdam in 1852, and 



148 The Hague School: Sequel 

Pieter de Josselin de Jong, bom at St. Oeden- 
rode in 1861. Strictly speaking, neither of them 
belongs to the Hague school; but they accompany 
this earlier period, as it were, as its official portrait- 
painters and must needs be reckoned with it, although 
they have been surpassed in power of expression 
by a later generation. Th6rese Schwartze is not 
only the most widely-known Dutch woman-painter 
of the last thirty years, or even of the whole of 
the nineteenth century, but she is to be credited 
with the fact that, at a time when portrait-painting, 
notwithstanding a few masterstrokes of Jozef Israels, 
had practically fallen into decadence, she honoured 
her father's tradition as a free art, not devoid 
of fantasy. She is a born painter, whose fluent 
modelling seems to be something quite her own, 
and, although draughtsmanship is not her strong 
point, although her faces could not withstand the 
criticism of an academic expert, although — true 
woman that she is — she occasionally enlarges the eyes, 
reduces the mouths, refines the finger-tips of her sitters, 
she has sometimes produced portraits, swiftly seized 
in a few days' sittings, of such great excellence 
that we come to know the originals better through 
them. Of this first period, the portraits of Mr. Fre- 
derik Muller and of Mr. Toewater, the advocate, 
are doubtless the most powerful. The whole con- 
struction of the first, the heavy head, shaded 
by a soft black hat with a broad brim, lighted 
with Rembrandt effects, brisk in colour, excellent 
in attitude, square and stately, points to the quickness 
of comprehension which is one of this painter's fore- 
most qualities. 



THE BARONESS MICHIELS VAN VERDUIJNEN - VAN BRIENEN VAN DE 

GROOTE LINDT — THERESE SCHWARTZE 

{The property of the Baroness Michiels van Verdtnjnen, the Hague) 




JONKHEER VICTOR DE STUERS — P. DE JOSSELIN DE JONG 
{The property of Jonkhecr Victor de Stuers, the Hague) 



The Hague School: Sequel 149 

Th^r^se Schwartze is a woman and her womanly 
intuition led her to woman's domain and to the use 
of a material in which womanly intuition rather than 
practical knowledge points the way. She began to 
produce pastel portraits in 1885 and soon achieved 
technical perfection, particularly in the modelling of 
the face, which is more natural and simple, at least 
in so far as regards the portraits of women, in this 
medium than in oils. And, whereas, before, she 
was reproached with being able to paint only men's 
portraits, that is to say character-portraits, since this 
period she has shown, in a series of charming por- 
traits of women and children, that pastel is a very 
beautiful medium in which to make the fleeting, 
evanescent, pale qualities of a woman's face tell 
against the brilliancy of the white silks or muslins 
in which she prefers to array her sitters. Of these 
portraits, perhaps that of the Baroness Michiels van 
Verduijnen is, as regards both composition and exqui- 
siteness of colouring, the most elegant, the most 
mondain portrait painted of late in our country, while 
the likeness has not suffered through the well-thought- 
out arrangement of the picture. 

De Josselin de Jong received his first lessons from 
P. M. Slager, at 's-Hertogenbosch ; afterwards he 
frequented the Antwerp Academy and completed 
his education in Rome. His training, like Th^rese 
Schwartze's, was quite foreign to the ideas existing 
at the Hague. And he excels rather as an academic 
draughtsman than as a powerful painter, so that it 
would appear as if the building up of a head or 
the outline of a hand never cost him the slightest 



I50 The Hague School: Sequel 

trouble. We do not find in his work the little defects 
which mark that of Miss Schwartze, nor, for that 
matter, her charm. He has painted a series of por- 
traits, honest, free from exaggeration and soberly 
observed, which amply satisfy the general require- 
ments. He has also painted horses ploughing, 
water-colours that often display great power and are 
original by reason of the stiff lines of the agricul- 
tural slopes of Limburg, a very happy subject, to 
which he afterwards added glimpses of the life of 
the foundries, which give occasion for forcible illus- 
tration-work rather than for a well-considered har- 
monious whole, although we are bound to admire 
his powers as a draughtsman when he represents 
his puddlers at work. 

When we think of the Hague masters to whom 
this school owes its name, we realize that, sad though 
the fact may be, they too are subject to the universal 
law that the things of this earth de not endure. 
The first blow fell in February 1888, when Mauve 
died while the Hague painters were at the height 
of their productiveness. In the midst of his work, 
in the full flower of his life, he was snatched away, 
unexpectedly, from among that host of powerful 
masters. Bosboom died in 1890, Artz in 1892, 
Jacob Maris in 1899, Weissenbruch, Gabriel and 
Roggenbeek early in the twentieth century. The 
death of Jacob Maris in August 1899 was a blow 
from which the Hague school was never to recover. 
He had been a tower of strength to his juniors, a 
constant assistance, a helping hand; and his loss 
was irreparable. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE YOUNGER MASTERS OF THE 
HAGUE SCHOOL 

All who followed the older masters of the Hague 
school based their methods upon them at the start 
and in this sense, therefore, followed in their footsteps. 
But the more powerful figures in this second gene- 
ration, as soon as they were able to dispense with 
the crutch of the older men, struck out lines of their 
own. Their names are Bauer, Breitner, Isaac Israels, 
Van der Maarel, Kamerlingh Onnes, Suze Robertson, 
Tholen, Verster and De Zwart. 

George Hendrick Breitner, bom at Rotterdam in 
1857, was the oldest and also the most vigorous of 
his contemporaries. He was a pupil of Willem 
Maris, whose broad smooth touch he applied, together 
with the colour-schemes of Jaap Maris, to a more 
passionate colouring in his charges of cavalry, in 
his artillery seen in profile against the sky-line, power- 
fully built up, with the long foreground represented 
clearly and evenly in forcible tonalities. He is, above 
all, the painter of movement, whose artistic bent inclined 
him towards the depicting of the bewildering bustle 



1^2 



The Younger Masters 



of military life : mounted artillery-men displaying their 
outlines against the smooth sky, or galloping down 
the dunes, full of screaming yellows and blacks, of 
horses and of the bright, white sand ; or a shoeing- 
smith; or a halt by a Brabant homestead, one of 
those moments in the manoeuvres which he would 
attend sketch-book in hand. Afterwards, it drove 
him to paint the huge complication of the trams 
starting from the Dam at Amsterdam, with all its 
noisy life and bustie of motley pedestrians and 
passengers and vehicles, or else of overburdened 
coal-wains, standing out high and huge against the 
petty life of a still canal. These town-views are 
pieces of a magnificent naturalism, of a passion that 
contains none of the spacious quietude in which 
Jacob Maris sees the town lying under the fleeting 
clouds, none of the latter's melodious harmonies, 
none of his symphonic view of nature, but rather a 
modem instrumentation, in which the brasses prevail. 
For Breitner is essentially a modern painter, who, 
coming from the restful Hague, must needs have 
been impressed with the great movement of a capital 
city ; a passionate painter for whom it was reserved 
to reproduce in large and mighty and truthful strokes 
the monumental greatness of the old town and also 
its modern street-life, with the dissonance of the 
shrill street-lamps, the brightly-lighted shops, glaring 
through the peace of the evening, shining fiercely 
upon the passers-by, turning the wet asphalt into 
a mirror in which the figures are lengthened in an 
unreal fashion. 

But for us who acknowledged Breitner from the 
beginning it was finer than all this to watch him 




PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF — G. H, BREITNEK 
[The property of Mr. H. J. van der Week, the Hague) 




W r- 

2 ^ 



of the Hague School 153 

on the drawing evenings at Pulchri Studio, in 
the little sketching-room, with the tobacco-smoke 
floating up to the ceiling and obscuring the model. 
There he sat fixing a water-colour, holding the 
drawing-block between his ankles, dripping the paint 
from his brush according to its true values. And 
in a moment there would come into being the 
white of an apron, the blue of a soldier's uniform, 
amid the admiration of those who stood gathered 
round this perfect virtuoso in colour. 

This was in the Hague time of his period of 
storm and stress, when he painted as and because 
he must. I remember later an occasion at the 
short-lived, but uncommonly distinguished art-club 
on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam, how Lord 
Leighton's Phryne compelled our admiration by the 
magnificent soundness of its qualities and how we 
were in the same moment impressed by a brilliant 
colour-sketch of Breitner's, a woman in yellow with 
a withered tulip in her hand, painted entirely with 
cin eye to beauty. It was thus that Frans Hals 
painted his master-pieces : The Laughing Cavalier^ the 
corporation-pieces at Haarlem ; thus that Rembrandt 
painted The Lesson in Anatomy : not thinking of the 
public, disregarding commercial values, from sheer 
love of beauty, following nature's promptings alone. 
And it was thus that Breitner, who, in the matter 
of his tones, is himself an old master, painted 
that woman with the black cat, painted those por- 
traits of himself in that warm, yellow tone, painted 
those firm, yet delicate, living flowers, painted 
those powerful Amsterdam studies from the naked 
model. 



154 The Younger Masters 

Although his artistic training was very different 
from that of Jacob Maris, Breitner never ceased 
seeking for means to overcome his defects of form. 
And, notwithstanding the effective hints which he 
received from that fine horse-painter, Rochussen; 
notwithstanding the fact that he passed an examination 
in intermediate drawing (he used to say that, if you 
stood in the Veenestraat pelting people with potatoes, 
nine out of every ten men hit would have one of 
those certificates in his pocket : nevertheless, his own 
enabled him to give a course of lessons at Leiden, 
where, among others, Floris Verster was his pupil) ; 
notwithstanding his having painted for twelve months 
in the studio of Willem Maris, who then lived at 
Oud-Rozenburg ; nay, even after he had already 
made an absolute name for himself among the 
younger and even among some of the older painters 
of his time, he resolved to go for two years to the 
Amsterdam Academy, to learn drawing under Alleb6. 
I know not in how far he here found what he had 
come to seek; but one thing is certain: he saw 
Amsterdam, was smitten with its strenuous life, 
became the great painter of the great city and never 
returned to the more contemplative Hague. 

If Breitner, in his later paintings of moorlands on 
the bright outskirts of Amsterdam, was obliged to 
subordinate his rich tonalities to a more open tech- 
nique of line, Suze Robertson, on the other hand, 
born at the Hague in 1857, although more closely 
related to him at the start, was able not only to 
retain, but even to increase the wealth of her palette. 
Nearly cdl the painters of the Hague school lost the 




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OF 




GIKL RESTING — SUZE BISSCHOP-KOBERTSON 
{The property of Mr. E. V. F. Ahn, the Hague) 



of the Hague School i55 

Intensity of their colour in the search for light in 
a wider aspect. She, who can hardly be called a 
landscape-painter, except in her little views of Noord- 
wijk, of which she only borrows the form to employ 
it as a subject for her colourful temperament, has 
made splendid studies of figures in her studio, worked 
up occasionally to something very complete, as in 
the little dark figure of a girl seen against a yellow 
silk background, a subject which, thanks to its heavy 
modelling and its heavy tone, became a quite excep- 
tional and independent artistic utterance. Combined 
with great technical qualities, she has displayed this 
wealth of ripe tones both in oils and in water-colours, 
a feeling for colour that is visionary rather than 
realistic. Her models do not command the gloriously 
outspoken veracity of Breitner's : they approach more 
nearly Rembrandt's conception ; and I doubt whether 
Suze Robertson has ever admired any Rembrandt 
more than the Suzanna in the Mauritshuis, seen 
through her own rich temperament. 

She is of the same age as Breitner; but, although 
born at the Hague, she hails by origin from Rot- 
terdam, the great commercial city on the Maas. 
Like Breitner, she began by passing her examination 
for intermediate education at the Hague Academy 
and, like him, began by giving lessons. Her 
circumstances compelled her to remain first for six 
years at the secondary girls' school at Rotterdam 
and for one year in a private intermediate school 
in Amsterdam. 

If Th6r^e Schwartze may be described as the 
most famous Dutch female painter of her time, Suze 
Robertson is undoubtedly the greater artist, perhaps 



1 56 TheYounger Masters of the Hague School 

the only woman of our day whose femininity betrays 
itself in her art not as weakness but as strength. 
In 1892, she married Richard Bisschop, the painter 
of church-interiors. 

It is a remarkable fact that Isaac Israels, who, 
born at the Hague in 1865, grew up as much 
as or even more than Breitner in the florescence 
of the Hague school, never really belonged to it. 
For, when he began, he was first attracted by sol- 
diers (I do not know if this was in imitation of 
Breitner) and painted them according to his own 
ideas, in small, compact, daintily-drawn pictures, in- 
dependently of his father's work and very cleverly for 
so young a painter. At the same time, he produced 
some very delicately-painted little portraits of women, 
including one with a park for its background, without 
troubling about any considerations oi plem-air. Still, 
these portraits were noticed only by a few in a time 
of broad brushwork in portrait-painting and it was 
the scenes of military life that made his name at a 
comparatively early age. His picture of colonial 
troops on the bridge at Rotterdam had a success 
in Paris. 

How he brought himself to fling away what he 
had achieved before he had found a new pair ot 
shoes to fit him I do not know; but one thing is 
certain, that the Amsterdam Academy, Amsterdam 
life, the influence of the Hterary movement that circled 
round the Nieuwe Gidsy that this half-literary, half- 
pictorial, but in any case wholly intellectual life was 
well-adapted to change his point of view. In Paris, 
he would have belonged to that array of immense 




I 



^, 



t]^ 

I^H 



of the Hague School i57 

draughtsmen who reproduce the life of the boulevards 
with so much sadness, but also with so much refine- 
ment of form. With us, he also became a peintre de 
mceu7's ; but through it all, in spite of himself, there 
gleamed the impressionism of the Hague school. 
He began by making chalk-drawings, straight from 
nature: canals with figures, streets seen from some 
well-placed window ; and in these very first drawings 
everything had disappeared that one used to admire 
in him: they were clever scrawls and scribbles, 
snapshots that presented an interesting glimpse of 
Amsterdam, without supplying anything new, unless 
we except The Kalverstraat The first important 
production was The Dancing-house^ an interior showing 
a stifling atmosphere, where, in a thick haze, sailors 
stare at women spinning round, a sickening episode, 
crudely and inexorably outspoken, Hke a scene from 
Zola, while in that perturbing painting. Women 
smoking, he displayed types that belong to the most 
naturalistic pages of our nineteenth- century art. 

We must not look in these works nor in any 
others of his later period for the harmony of the 
great Hague men his masters, nor for their colouring, 
their sheer beauty, their charm of workmanship, their 
well-balanced composition. Nor again must we 
look to find in him a subject developed into a 
complete picture. What Isaac Israels aims at is 
to seize the moment, the movement, the street types, 
the street life forming part of the streets, of the 
town. He is essentially one of the younger men, 
endowed with more sensitive nerves and less balance 
than the Hague men, a son of his time, a son too 
of Jozef Israels the psychologist. 



158 The Younger Masters 

No more honest artist exists ; and, like that virtuoso 
of the brush, Manet, he might have said, in the 
catalogue of his first exhibition : 

"Come here to see not complete, but upright 
work." 

He sacrifices nothing to commercial values; one 
knows of no concession made by this restless worker ; 
he adds nothing conventional, nothing acquired by 
knowledge or experience to his work. The faces are 
characterized with a stroke or two; the figures and 
the whole episode are reproduced with a genuine 
realism which is never touched up in the studio or 
elaborated into an imposing colour-scheme. His work 
is one long array of human documents, unique in our 
country for their unvarnished truthfulness. Never- 
theless, in quite recent years, he has produced works 
which show that he is adopting a more synthetic 
manner of seeing and a more monumental, though 
always life-like mode of expression. 

Pure landscape-painting is represented in this 
generation by De Zwart and Tholen. Willem Bastiaan 
Tholen, born in i860, was. like Voerman, denied 
the privilege of being born at the Hague or, rather, 
of growing up there amid the riot of beauty to which 
the work of the great masters contributed daily. Both 
of them were natives of Kampen and received their 
education first under Hein, the landscape-painter, who 
was not able to instil much life into his pupils, and 
later under J. O. Belmer, the painter and drawing- 
master, who, newly-arrived at Kampen, encouraged 
his pupils, prepared them for the Amsterdam Academy 
and reconciled their parents to the idea of bringing 



of the Hague School i59 

up their sons to an artistic career. At the Hague 
and even in Amsterdam, it is easy to become a 
painter, almost too easy, in fact. But in the smaller 
towns, which possess no academies, no animated art- 
life, no picture-galleries, we cannot show sufficient 
appreciation of a painter who, compelled by circum- 
stances to accept a position as local drawing-msister, 
displays a true love of his art and devotion to his 
pupils. Tholen never fails to admit that, without 
this guidance, he would never have become the man 
he is. All his later masters might have been different ; 
but he would have been nowhere without Belmer. 
After the Academy, he took Gabriel, then still in 
Brussels, as his master. This choice is an early 
characteristic of the practical painter that Tholen 
has since become. 

Practical, sure of himself, learning in the midst of his 
admiring commerce with the Hague masters, Tholen 
made an early name with a couple of water-colours 
of the children's playground in the Scheveningen 
Woods. Later, at an exhibition of the Dutch Drawing 
Association, he showed the interior of a dairy, in 
which the reflections of the brass milk-pails, the 
white walls and a touch of blue were carried to a 
pitch of uncommon purity. Perhaps even more 
elaborate was The Butcher s Shop, an admirable 
interior with a vista, which, thanks both to the 
execution and the water-colour treatment, gained the 
admiration of all painters, young and old masters 
alike. A country-house in a labyrinth of bushes and 
bracken, green-houses, a toll-house, Scheveningen 
streets, the Scheveningen canal may be numbered 
among his most precious water-colours. 



i6o The Younger Masters 

Tholen's work shows no trace of an endeavour 
in any other direction than the picturesque. From 
the first, he proves himself a sound and powerful 
landscape-painter, whose streets and landscapes, with 
their boldness of construction and brightness of tone 
and firmness of line and colouring, tell all that they 
have to tell, without ever degenerating into illustrations. 
He is one of those painters who dare to be them- 
selves, who place strength above feeble sentimentality, 
who do not consider our Dutch art of landscape- 
painting to be bound to any one formula and who 
do not object if they are called cold because of their 
cool expression of a fact, for the reason that they are 
convinced that strength and not weakness is their 
motive power. Years passed in which his work 
was sent straight to England, so that we but rarely 
saw an)^hing of it. At present, his subjects are 
taken to a great extent from the Zuider Zee or rivers. 
And, if a change be perceptible in his work, this 
is in consequence of the reflections in which a painter 
often indulges at about his fortieth year, the age 
when we throw off the influences received from without 
and recover our own natures. 

Tholen's nature is not an expansive one and 
therefore his merits as a painter are not always 
equally obvious. And, in the ever-growing admiration 
for a more fixed art, for the older men, he, with 
the best of the younger masters, stands alone. 

Willem de Zwart, who is before all a colourist, 
was born at the Hague in 1862. He was a pupil 
of the Hague Academy and, what is more, he is, 
in point of fact, the only direct pupil of Jacob Maris. 







S I 



of the Hague School i6i 

The influence is seen in his "Sand-pits" of about 
1885 to 1890. Mellow, firmly-painted, bright and 
full of tone, these sand-pits, lying in the yellow dunes 
under the grey skies, reflected in a canal, enlivened 
by the movement of sand-boats and navvies, belong 
to the best that he has yet painted. At that time, 
he was living at the Hague in the Beeklaan, a 
favourite quarter with artists, lying between the dunes 
on the one side and the fat fields, canals and farm- 
steads on the other. Here he would also surprise 
us with his figures of women, full of the breath of 
life, like Breitner's women, like Jacob Maris* portrait 
of his sister, Hke Terburgh's women, although less 
refined. And, above all, he was the first to turn 
into a sheer feast of colour the bright squares of 
the town, with the gleaming black panels of the 
passing carriages, pieces filled with rich tones, tho- 
roughly intelligent performances which, nevertheless, did 
not go beyond the just demands of landscape-painting. 
A turning-point arrived in his career too. This 
was when the Hague ceased to be the artistic centre, 
when Breitner and Isaac Israels were settled in Am- 
sterdam, when Bauer went to Bussum and when 
De Zwart himself had gone to Hilversum. Was this 
for private reasons, or to enter the environment of 
the younger Amsterdammers, or from the longing for 
the country, for solitude, that drove the strongest 
to seclusion? One thing is certain, that De Zwart 
had his work cut out for him to recover his " form. " 
He drew in chalks, he etched, he painted, until, a few 
years ago, he again began to produce paintings 
which attracted notice through the robust, not always 
harmonious colouring, through the powerful draughts- 

II 



1 62 The Younger Masters 

manship which he displayed in somewhat Old-Dutch 
subjects, such as a Poultry-market, a water-colour, 
or in bright-coloured little interiors, or in pictures 
of slums. From that time, he hcis shown compa- 
ratively little connection with his master or with the 
traditions of the Hague school. 

The talented colourist Johannes Evert Akkeringa, 
born in the isle of Banka in 1864, though not a 
pupil of De Zwart's, belongs to his school. He 
studied at the Hague and Rotterdam Academies 
and has produced supply-painted little pieces — figures, 
dunes, flower-gardens — real little cabinet-pieces, which 
are greatly valued and yet are modern, like something 
lying half-way between De Zwart and the earlier 
Rochussen. He has this in common with all the 
younger painters of the Hague school, that he has 
not yet said his last word. 

Van der Maarel is a colourist of a different type 
from either Breitner or Mrs. Bisschop-Robertson. 
Verster, in his colour period, and Voerman, in his 
early flower-pieces, both had something in common 
with him ; nevertheless. Van der Maarel's aspirations 
in the matter of form and colour find a different 
expression. In reality, he is more nearly related 
to the Venetian masters, with their passionate love 
of colour, than to the Dutch. I remember, many 
years ago, seing a figure of a little Italian girl by 
Van der Maarel, leaning against the stone balustrade 
of a Paris bridge, with a grey sky just broken up 
by harmonious orange. The purity of the red in 
the little figure and the charm of colour in the sky 




LITTLE SIS — M. VAN DER MAAREL 
(The property of Mr. J. J. Biesing, the Hague) 



OF THE ^^^ 



•ORJ 



of the Hague School 163 

at once- attracted the attention of the younger men, 
whereas some of the older painters did not think 
it worth while to make so much fuss of a bit of sky- 
like that, which anyone might have painted in a 
happy moment. 

Van der Maarel is also, is, in fact, before all a 
painter of portraits; at least, he has produced his 
most important work in this direction. Yet he must 
not be regarded as a professed portrait- painter ; for 
the demands of this branch of art are not, in his 
case, confined to a more or less simply-painted coun- 
terfeit presentment nor to that penetration into 
character which leads to psychological portraiture. 
For him, a portrait, even as a still-life piece or a 
landscape, is a piece of temperamental art, a problem 
in colour, so much so that he is unable to start 
upon his portrait, has no inclination to do so, be- 
fore all the conditions of tonality in the face of his 
model and in the environment selected by him are 
such that they respond in a measure to the painter's 
own sense of colour. 

Marius van der Maarel was bom in 1857 at the 
Hague and began by attending the Hague Academy. 
Afterwards, he became a pupil of Willem Maris. 
Thanks to the distinction that marked his efforts, to 
the taste and refinement of his art, he was, in his earlier 
years, a leader of many. Bauer, in his richly-painted 
pieces of fashionable life, Verster and several others 
underwent the influence of this painter who had 
been fully formed at an early age. The superior 
colour-arrangements of Anna Adelaida Abrahams 
(bom in 1849), the still-life painter, may be regarded 
as belonging to his school, while, as a direct pupil 



i64 The Younger Masters 

of his later period, we can reckon Frederik Salberg 
(bom in 1876), who, up to the present, follows his 
master's ideas in figures and flowers. 

Floris Henric Verster, bom at Leiden in 1861, 
is rather difficult to understand. No sooner do we 
think that we have caught the intention of this pure 
artist than he changes his formula; and, when we 
penetrate this, he comes up with a work so directly 
opposed to the last that we are constrained forth- 
with to change our second conception for a third. 
Vermeer of Delft was called the sphinx of our 
seventeenth-century painting. I do not wish to sug- 
gest a direct analogy ; but it must be admitted that 
Horis Verster is our latter-day sphinx, who, refusing 
to allow his riddles to be solved, poses a new riddle 
with each new picture. 

In 1887, he produces a work representing two 
plucked fowls on a newspaper, painted in cool, 
firm tones of an original order, yet closely related 
to De Zwart and Jacob Maris: a master-piece, this 
drawing. Next, with mellower pigments and in 
deeper tones, he paints hollyhocks, with something 
of the passionate enthusiasm of Breitner. Then he 
changes his colour-scheme for more cruel tones in red 
and purple anemonenes, in pale-violet chrysanthemums, 
blood-red tulips, deep red and yellow roses and 
amaranth phlox, colours that suggest passages of 
Berlioz' Faust Again, after turning over so many 
new leaves, he produces his gourds, his eucalyptus, 
his flowering branch in a Japanese vase, executed in 
childish detail with a wax-pencil: powerful, this, but 
suggestive of a woman picking out a flower on 




FLOWERS — F. H. VERSTER 
{The property of Messrs. E. J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam) 



of the Hague School 165 

a tapestry; beautiful, but so coldly beautiful. Then, 
suddenly deserting his spontaneous landscapes, he 
builds you up his houses and streets and churches 
carefully, brick by brick. What next? Yet all these 
different phases are the work of one man, spring 
from the temperament and the sense of colour of 
one artist, intelligent always, a fine and true painter 
in his first, a turbulent painter in his second period 
and, in all, a distinguished master of the technical 
side of his art, who has undoubtedly not yet shown 
us his last formula and is keeping many exquisite 
surprises in reserve for us. 

Menso Kamerlingh Onnes, born in i860, is first 
and foremost a flower-painter, though he has also 
painted portraits. He, in his turn, has enlarged the 
technique of water-colour. Herein lies his strength. 
He is like a conjuror with his water-colours, with 
his solutions of colour, his fluent colours, in which 
he is able to produce his flowers with diaphanous 
delicacy. None of our artists is able to juggle with 
technique in the way that he does. And, although 
technique is far from being everything and his work 
often springs rather from a sort of cleverness than 
from an endeavour to represent what he sees or feels, 
yet he has given us, for instance, a drawing of quinces 
on a white plate, in a simple arrangement of yellow- 
green, white and a touch of black, that has seldom 
been surpassed as a pure reproduction in water- 
colour. 

Man Alexander Jacques Bauer was born at the 
Hague in 1864. He was a pupil of the Hague 



i66 The Younger Masters 

Academy, but received his real training at the hands 
of Jozef Israels' friend Salomon van Witsen (born in 
1833), a painter who produced but little and whose 
knowledge and impartial judgment rank higher than 
his painting. From his earliest days at Pulchri Studio, 
Bauer seems to have held the " muddy ditch * style in 
abhorrence; for what we know of him consists of 
glimpses of a music-hall, or an elegantly painted 
piece taken from a suburban restaurant. He was 
much talked about, but worked little. When, on 
his return from his first visit to Constantinople in 
1888, he brought back with him a view of a town 
in chalks and water-colours, this was considered 
really inadequate for one of whom so much had 
been heard. True, the foreground had something 
of the dry treatment of his rare Pulchri- Studio sket- 
ches ; but, at the same time, the composition of the 
many-cupolaed city, seen in the distance against a 
yellow sky, was full of suggestion, both as regards 
form and, especially, in the matter of the conception, 
which caused an oriental city to spring up on the 
horizon in all the haziness of a Dutch town. 

Bauer, who had litde in common with the Hague 
painters, sought to find a common standard abroad; 
and, despite the great difference, despite the eastern 
subjects amid which Bauer, the Hague man, prefers 
to move, despite the fact that he is more of a 
glorious imaginer than a mighty painter, we can 
look upon him as springing from the Hague school. 
For not only does he display Rembrandt's manner 
in his etchings, not only is the influence of Bos- 
boom's drawings very evident in his work, but he 
has " seen " and reproduced the East after the man- 







< ^ 



I ^ 



of the Hague School 167 

ner of a painter of the Hague school, of one who 
has grown up under its masters. 

Certainly, no one can expect of an occidental that 
he should see the East with the fatalistic impas- 
siveness reflected in the art of that region. Nor 
can one expect that every one who visits the East 
should contemplate it with the same eyes. In how 
many different ways has not our simple, methodical 
Holland been viewed by foreigners? I have heard 
of travellers who have disliked Egypt because the 
Sahara does not differ greatly in appearance from 
our dunes, while the dust provides an equivalent 
for the atmosphere of our country; whereas others 
will never cease dilating upon the glaring white of 
the sunlight on white walls, upon the light blue 
shadows under the motionless blue of the sky, a 
view which shows that not every one shares Bauer*s 
acceptance of the East. It is true that to many 
northern natures the East is often a sentiment rather 
than a fact, a longing for mother earth, a craving 
for miracles, for the land of the Bible, a dream of 
Paradise. And, if we are convinced that all art 
proceeds rather from self-recognition, then it follows 
that intuitive natures are able to feel and see the 
East, without ever having been there. Delacroix 
for many years produced his scenes of the East, 
full of the colours which we associate with that 
world, from studies of the local colour brought 
home to him by a friend. And, while it is true that 
the dream is often fairer than the reality, yet 
there must also be artists, impressionable natures, 
who, going to the East full of expectations, but 
free from prejudices, have gazed upon the land 



1 68 The Younger Masters 

with admiring eyes and returned overflowing with 
impressions. 

I would include Bauer among the latter. It was 
about 1889 that he produced a swarm of etchings, 
studies, impressions, drawings, little paintings, a 
medley of bright green, hard pink, Indian yellow 
and Persian blue; scrawls of colour from which 
emerges a street, a troop of cavalry, a procession; 
or else an undecipherable harmony of grey-white, 
blue-white, rose-white, brilliant colours in subdued 
tones, whence arises Stamboul with its bright cupolas, 
like a flock of sheep rounding themselves against a 
pale copper sky; or, again, the caravans, biblical in 
their primeval surroundings, marching or halting, 
camels, riders, loads : one of them stands silhouetted 
against a town merged in twilight. 

In later years, he saw Egypt: his realistic Sphinx 
dates from this time ; it is faithfully drawn, spaciously 
observed. In 1896, he travelled through British 
India, delighting in the monumental character of the 
country, in the symbolism of the buildings, of the cities 
reflected in the Ganges. Bauer is said to have 
always dreamt of illustrating the Arabian Nights in 
their entirety. He could not do so in a livelier, 
more real, more fantastic way than he has already 
done in the colours which he makes us feel in his 
etchings. 







THE KREMLIN — M. A. J. BAUER 
{The pi opcrty of Messrs. E. J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam) 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE REACTION OF THE YOUNGER 
PAINTERS OF AMSTERDAM 

A crisis came. 

There were many who did not see it. Many- 
refused to see it. Others, who did, almost refused 
to believe — so great was their instinctive hatred 
of the new that were to supplant the old ideals ; and 
yet they were bound to accept it, because this 
new form of artistic utterance forced itself upon us 
with an undeniable cleverness, with strength and 
conviction, with an overwhelming importance. The 
formula adopted by the new men was not intimate, 
was not " pretty, " did not captivate the eye, rarely 
betrayed a mood of some sort. What they sought 
for was a more decorative composition; what they 
wanted was a more concrete form ; what they longed 
for and found was line, outline, a reaction that must 
necessarily follow upon a form of art that dissolved 
its lines in atmosphere, subjected colour to the 
influence of light and regarded a line merely as the 
division between two pieces of colour. It was the 
reaction by virtue of which an art of outlines was 



ijo The Amsterdam Reaction 

as inevitably bound to succeed an art of mere 
brushwork as the conventional music of Beethoven 
was succeeded by Wagner's more outspoken phrases. 

And so it came about that a race of painters 
arose between 1885 and 1890, formed at the Am- 
sterdam Academy under the guidance of the con- 
scientious Alleb6, who impressed a whole gene- 
ration of younger men with the stamp of his culture. 
The men of this race or generation soon showed 
that they were determined to seek a road for them- 
selves, each according to his own nature, rather than 
follow feebly in the footsteps of the Hague masters 
whom they all so greatly admired. Most of them 
were figure-painters, either from personal inclination 
or because of their training. 

The reaction of these painters, known as the 
reaction of 1880, moves within a period of ten years. 
Their names are Van Looy, Van der Valk, Voerman, 
Haverman, Derkinderen, Toorop, Witsen, Karsen 
and Veth. If we wish to sum up the endeavours 
of these artists in a formula, it may be expressed 
as a mistrust of any sort of impressionism, of any 
passion or painter's enthusiasm, a mistrust sprung 
from a reaction against the inane and feeble imita- 
tors of the Hague school, against the impressionism 
which Gerard Bilders went so far as to think that 
he could see in the imitations of the Barbizon school, 
and, consequently, as a conscious striving after form, 
pronounced line and purity of colour. 

Jan Pieter Veth was born at Dordrecht in 1864. 
As a child, he used to draw historical subjects, 
perhaps in consequence of the spirit prevailing in 




F. LEBRET — J. P. VETH 
(Municipal Museum, Dordrecht) 



The Amsterdam Reaction i7» 

his father's house, where Potgieter was much read ; 
perhaps also through the influence of Ary Scheffer. 
He went to the Amsterdam Academy in 1880 and 
exhibited portraits of his sisters in 1884 and 1885. 
These and his other painted portraits, including those 
of Dr. de Vrij and of Mr. Lebret in the Dordrecht 
Museum, are clever works and show power of colour 
analysis. They belong to an early transition-period 
which soon made room for portraits aiming more 
exclusively at the reproduction of expression and 
character and were often inlaid and paint-drawn 
rather than painted in the strict sense of the word. 
The same reasons that led to the great development 
of his criticcil powers caused him also to adopt a 
critical method of painting, that is to say, to portray 
heads showing character, to seek for the causes 
that bring lines and wrinkles into a face, to enter 
into the minds of his sitters. It goes without saying 
that his method was most successful when applied 
to eminent men who had distinguished themselves 
in any sphere of activity. 

In 1892, the portraits of well-known contemporaries 
published in the Amsterdamsch Weekblad attracted 
general attention. They were lithographs by Veth, 
the painter, who was just becoming known at the 
Hague, but who had already made a definite name 
for himself in Amsterdam through the personal note 
of his portraits. One of this series, the little por- 
trait of Jacob Maris sitting at his easel, was a reve- 
lation not only as a likeness of the painter, whose 
head, in full-face, reminds one of Jupiter, while, 
viewed in profile, the round forehead and the peculiar 
blue eyes show something at once refined and 



172 The Amsterdam Reaction 

childlike, but also on account of the manner in 
which, after many years, photography had again been 
beaten by drawing pure and simple. Not all were 
executed in the same way: some were in outline, 
others elaborately drawn, others again set down in the 
old-Dutch fashion. Some were rather exaggerated 
and looked a little forced when seen beside Alleb6*s 
simple and complete little portraits. But still they 
were so characteristic, they showed such perfect 
grasp of the nature of the model (as in the por- 
traits of Louis Couperus and of Dr. Frederik van 
Eeden) and they were so much admired by the Hague 
men that, later on, they often detracted from the appre- 
ciation that would otherwise have been evoked by 
his painted portraits. It is a remarkable ting that 
this painter, who so greatly admires Jozef Israels, 
the brothers Maris, Bosboom and Mauve, should 
have deliberately turned aside from any of the magni- 
ficence or display which they showed in their work. 
He was like an ascetic, who knows how to value 
the pleasures of life and yet rejects them. 

These psychological portraits, in which character- 
analysis is so clearly visible, must, necessarily, often 
be more attractive to the philosophical spectator 
than to the sheer painter, who, moreover, frequently 
considers that portraiture does not come within the 
scope of pure art. Nevertheless, Veth has proved 
himself a master in this series of portraits, not only 
by his search for the intellectual qualities of the 
sitter, but by his systematic construction of the por- 
traits, in which good modelling of the head, minute 
and careful drawing, expression and will-power are 
evident. We must needs make our choice and it 




PROFESSOR A. D. LOMAN — J, P. VETH 

{In the possession of the Artist at Bussuni) 



^- OF THE 

iJNIVEf^SITY 

^■^ °'' r 



The Amsterdam Reaction 173 

is difficult in our day to reconcile one of these 
complete representations of character with a portrait 
painted with a free brush. At the same time, we 
must remember that Veth is still young and it is 
quite possible that he may wish to acquire in his 
painted work something of that quality which he so 
greatly admires in the masters of the Hague school. 

One of Veth's pupils is Miss Johanna Cornelia 
Hermana (Nelly) Bodenheim, who was born in Am- 
sterdam in 1874. She made her first appearance 
in 1896, in the Kroniek, with a coloured lithograph, 
a sort of illustration to a well-known folk-song, in 
which she recalled the middle-ages in fresh and 
simple colours, without pomp or display, but with 
the same candour as the song itself; and I can only 
hope that she will not forsake this style altogether 
in favour of her clever and amusing illustrations to 
our national nursery-rhymes. 

Miss Walburga Wilhelmina (Wally) Moes, born in 
Amsterdam in 1856, the painter of Laren interiors, 
although a pupil of Alleb6 and Richard Burnier, 
deliberately chose Veth as her leader, both in the 
modelling of the features as in general style, with 
the result that the expression of her women and 
mothers often acquires something very sensitive. 
Dutchwoman though she be, her talent often leans 
towards the German, inasmuch as her work is painted 
for the sake of the expression of the subject rather 
than for the sake of the general effect or of the 
colour. 

In this respect, she resembles Louise Eugenie 
Steffens (i 841-1865), a Catholic painter who died 



174 The Amsterdam Reaction 

very young, not, however, before producing a few 
excellent pictures, convent-scenes or ^^^^r^-pieces, all 
more or less German in sentiment. 

Hendrik Johan Haverman was bom in Amsterdam 
in 1857. He entered the Academy in that city in 
1878 and, two years later, began to attend the 
Antwerp Academy under Verlat. Afterwards, he 
worked for a time in Brussels, where he admired 
Henri de Brakeleer and Stevens and was impressed 
by the powerful tradition of Jordaens, and then, not 
feeling certain of his own strength, returned to Am- 
sterdam, to work under Alleb6, from whom he received 
private lessons at the Academy. He painted mainly 
from the nude; and, although as early as 1880 he 
had sent a town-scene for exhibition from Antwerp, he 
made his first real start with figure-painting. To judge 
by The Flighty which he presented to the collection of 
modern pictures in the Amsterdam Municipal Museum, 
his style at that time was dry and his draughts- 
manship correct rather than lifelike; yet this was 
a good foundation, upon which he worked at a 
much later date and more nearly approached the 
reality and beauty of the nude. He had learned a 
great deal at the different art-schools; but, like 
nearly all who have passed through a complete 
academic training, he had to drudge long before he 
was able to achieve anything of importance and 
before he discovered the formula which was to reveal 
him to himself. 

He returned from a trip to Spain, Tangiers and 
Algiers, in 1890, with a number of studies and 
small paintings, remarkable for striking realism, well- 




J. H. KRELAGE — H. J. HAVERMAN 
(The property of Mr. E. H. Krclage, Rotterdam) 



^ OF THE ^r^ 

UNIVERSITY 




THE KNITTING LESSt)N — H. J. HAVERMAN 

{The property of Mi. W. Nijhoff, the Hague) 



The Amsterdam Reaction 175 

painted and broadly-conceived. In 1892, he made 
in wash, on a small scale, a full-length portrait-study 
of an uncommonly fat female figure, which he exhibited 
at Arti in 1893. The happy thought of reproducing 
the stoutness of this large sitter, who is wearing 
a tea-gown, of expressing the exact truth and yet 
producing an harmonious whole by means of careful 
colouring attracted the attention of the younger men. 
It is this frankness, this representation of a person 
not as what he should be, but as what he is, as 
himself, as what even his friends do not know him 
to be, it is this revelation of personality which 
distinguishes Haverman even as, in another sense, 
it makes Veth remarkable. 

Other important portraits followed — Dr. van Delden, 
Dr. Birnie, Richard Bisschop, the artist's wife — until, 
in 1897, Haverman began to draw portraits of 
" celebrities of the day " for the then newly-started 
(and now no longer existing) monthly, Woord en Beeld. 
And, although wood-cuts rarely do justice to an 
artist — and it is to this day to be regretted that 
he did not himself prepare the lithographs for the 
press — still it is the original drawings for these 
reproductions that have made him a permanent 
name. 

If I were to compare the two most successful 
portrait-painters of late days, Haverman and Veth, 
I should say that, in the drawn portrait, Haverman's 
powers are more virile, the focussing of the features 
on the whole more sure and the likeness often sharper, 
whereas Veth, who searches rather for the mind of 
his sitter, draws out not so much his strength as 
his gentieness and goodness. That there are ex- 



176 The Amsterdam Reaction 

ceptions goes without saying: Veth's portrait ot 
Dr. Kuyper, the late premier, and Haverman's 
Portrait of Mrs. S. are cases in point. 

Antoon Derkinderen was born at 's-Hertogenbosch 
in 1859 and grew up under the majestic shadow of 
its cathedral, where both he and his father sang in 
the choir. It was, therefore, by no accident that he 
was the first in our country to dream of monumental 
art, the first to achieve success in it. Moreover, 
his father was a goldsmith ; and in his father's 
workshop he admired the monstrances and ciboria 
which were sent there for repair. He was brought 
up at the State training-school for school-teachers 
at the Bosch, where instruction was given in the 
arts of music and drawing, and he afterwards con- 
tinued to receive drawing- lessons from J. P. Strack^, 
the sculptor, who was the director of the Royal 
School of Arts and Crafts in the Brabant capital. 
In 1880, he entered the Amsterdam Academy. 

Imbued with the Catholic spirit, he went to 
Brussels in 1882 to work in the Royal Academy 
under Portaels. While there, he received his first 
commission, to paint a religious and commemorative 
fresco for the church of the Amsterdam B6guignage : 
The Procession of the Miraculotcs Blessed Sacrament 
as held in Amsterdam up to the sixteenth century. 
Never was ecclesiastical painting executed in a more 
pious and joyful mood, more pervaded with the 
spirit of the Te Deum^ as personified in this procession 
bearing the Blessed Sacrament along the shore of 
the IJ, with the shipping of the commercial capital 
for its background. 






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The Amsterdam Reaction 177 

Nevertheless, the painting was not approved of 
and was indeed refused by the church. If Der- 
kinderen had remained within the circle in which 
he spent his childhood and his first youth, if he had 
never known and admired the pictures of Puvis de 
Chavannes, if, above all, he had retained his early 
admiration of the services of the Catholic Church, his 
ideas would have been conceived in the spirit rather 
than according to the letter of Puvis de Chavannes 
and he would have understood that the works of Puvis, 
with his conception of colour, would have been as 
much out of place in a Roman Catholic church as a 
Fra Angelico in a Pantheon. Even though the church 
in the B6guignage were whitewashed in the style 
of the Reformation, a picture of this description has 
to serve for devotional purposes: its colours must 
harmonize with the stained glass and the brilliant 
vestments; it must keep its form and colour in the 
twilight of the columns and in the pale candle-light. 
And then too the young painter might gradually 
have developed into an artist who would have helped 
to raise the Catholic Church out of the slough of 
chromo-lithography into which she had sunk. This 
pale-golden painting, as it now stands, owes its origin 
almost entirely to a Germanic feeling and gives an 
exquisite representation of the religious life of the 
time, as seen through modern eyes that are them- 
selves yearning to believe. 

The paintings at the Bosch, which rank at the 
present moment as Derkinderen's finest works, owe 
their origin not so much to the wishes of his fellow- 
townsmen as to the initiative of a few amateurs. 
The dignity and distinction with which the artist, 

12 



178 The Amsterdam Reaction 

following the old chronicles, has, on the first wall, 
depicted the founding of the city in pure architectural 
forms make this work the master-piece of a transition- 
period, a master-piece in which the great lines of 
history are imbued with the spirit of the building 
of the city until they form an harmonious and truly 
monumental whole. The second painting, representing 
the construction of the interior of the cathedral, has 
more logical quality if regarded as a fresco, inasmuch 
as the whole design is on one plane. Yet it cannot 
be denied that the somewhat Byzantine character of 
the subject robs this work of that pious simplicity 
which makes the two earlier paintings so attractive. 

Among the different forces and ideals of this age, 
Jacobus van Looy occupies a place apart. Bom 
at Haarlem in 1855, he is a true artist, whose 
pictures, in spite of their strong brushwork, have 
nothing in common with those of Breitner or Isaac 
Israels. Van Looy first made his name as a writer 
of stately prose, in which he describes external things 
in such a way that they stand out, as it were, 
in the full glare of everyday life, a prose which 
becomes purely plastic in the hands of this painter 
in words, even as it is purely lyrical in those of 
Lodewijk van Deyssel. Those who know his prose 
know the subjects of his pictures. Both are the 
outcome of his impressions and are as closely related 
as are Rossetti's pictures to his sonnets. 

He was one of the first in our country to make 
a study of the daily life of the streets. Take, for 
exemple, his Peepskow; or a barrel-organ, in a back 
slum, with a group of fat Jewesses and street-girls 




PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF — J. VAN LOOY 

(The property of Mrs. van Looy-van Geldcr, Soest) 




is 

i « 



p' 



The Amsterdam Reaction 179 

dancing to its strains, amid effects of light that 
remind the spectator of The Night Watch. His 
colouring is often unreal and betrays a search after 
colour in the studio; but the action is taken from 
everyday life and seen with the eyes of an artist. 

He was brought up for a carriage-painter, studied 
under Poorter and Alleb6 at the Academy and was 
subject to no other influences. His greatness is 
due to the power of his painting, but as an artist 
in words he is greater still: the prose of his Spain 
has perhaps never been surpassed in our literature. 
Who shall fathom the complex nature of this positive 
and strenuous painter-author? 

Jan Voerman, born at Kampen in 1857, is, after 
Van Looy, the oldest of this younger generation. 
His first work, produced and exhibited in 1882, 
was a genre-painting of Jews, painted in the heavy 
manner of the Amsterdam school, a cleverly executed 
study. But his native preference was for landscape 
and nature: in 1883, he began to paint impres- 
sionist town-scenes and flowers; in 1889, he settled 
at Hattem and produced those pure water-colours 
of violets or azaleas in coloured ginger-jars, exqui- 
sitely drawn, full and dainty in form, which were 
to be seen at the exhibitions of the Sketching Club 
and of which an example now hangs in the Mes- 
dag collection. Voerman was an impressionist and 
nothing more in those days, although he was already 
beginning to feel that he would need a different 
formula to express his own nature. By degrees he 
grew to understand that the work of the Dutch 
painters was not pure enough in colour; and he 



i8o The Amsterdam Reaction 

was struck with this fact more especially by ob- 
serving the contrast between the works of Maris and 
Toorop and those of all the other artists at an ex- 
hibition held at Arti in 1891 or 1892. He had 
not visited an exhibition for years. It now became 
evident to him that he must alter his methods ; and 
from that day he began to paint everything with 
pure colours and to mix as little as possible. 

This simplicity, which the works of Maris and 
Toorop made manifest to him, expressed itself in his 
productions in a very different way. His Irises^ 
shown at the Utrecht Exhibition of 1892, revealed 
a purity of colour, a beauty of form which, for 
the first time, perhaps, rendered the firmness of 
the petals with justice and already exceeded the 
efforts of a Jaap Maris. And afterwards, both in 
the exquisite lines and colouring of his La France 
roses in a crystal bowl and in his later landscapes, 
all painted in a kind of wash-coulour, his style (perhaps 
against his own will) approached Toorop's more 
nearly than that of Jacob Maris, to which, in point 
of fact, Voerman's method but rarely showed any 
resemblance. 

Eduard Karsen, born in Amsterdam in i860, 
should no more than Voerman be said to belong 
to the Hague school. If he did, it could be objected 
that his treatment of his pigments is not supple, 
his manner uninspiring, his view of things narrow, 
that his colour would be more properly described 
as negative, that his work is lifeless, while the melan- 
choly which it breathes is not such as music can 
give us; and yet, despite all this, there are few 



Painter of Amsterdam i8i 

who, like Karsen, understand the charm of still-life, 
few who so well know how to reproduce the dark 
side of nature, that contracted side which tends so 
greatly to sadden sensitive characters. This is the 
spirit in which he renders those silent North- Holland 
farmhouses, lying in their heavy masses on the wide 
fields, or those small low houses by the side of the 
canals, lonely and still, mirrored in the water as 
though waiting for the coming of the night. 

To the names of these artists must be added that 
of Pieter Meiners, who was born at Oosterbeek in 
1854 and died in 1903. He had an impressionable 
talent, though he made no great name for himself 
and left but few works behind him. He was a pupil 
of his father (himself a comparatively unknown 
painter) and also of the Amsterdam Academy, which 
he left with a pronounced feeling for form, softened 
by the supple touch of the Hague Masters. He 
produced carefully-observed pictures of still-life, no- 
table for their silky tone, their inoffensive composi- 
tion, their light shadow, their striking technique. 
His work was peculiarly placid and seemed never 
to have cost its author an effort. His talent was 
not great, but he had the good taste to make no 
endeavour to force it in any way. 

In 1885, the younger men founded the Nether- 
lands Etching Club, with Jan Veth for their presi- 
dent. This promotion of the arts of drawing, etching, 
lithography, of black-and-white work generally, to an 
honourable position was to the later generation all 
that the Sketching Qub of twenty years before had 



1 82 The Amsterdam Reaction 

been to the Hague men. The result was that the 
etchings of the Hague masters, of Israels, Jacob and 
Matthijs Maris, Mauve, now saw the light of day; 
that the crayon-sketches of these masters were rescued 
from studio corners; and that, above all, graphic 
art once more began to enjoy the consideration of 
the art-loving public. 

True, we had two professional etchers, one of 
whom, Jonkheer Carel Nicolaas Storm van 's-Gra- 
vesande, born at Breda in 1 84 1 , a pupil of Roelofs 
and of F^licien Rops, had, long before this club 
came into existence, made himself a name at home 
and abroad by a set of distinguished etchings, nearly 
all of them of Dutch river-scenes. The other was 
Philippe Zilcken, born at the Hague in 1857, a pupil 
of Mauve and, like Jonkheer Storm, a painter, but, 
first of all, an etcher. His etchings after Thijs 
Maris' A Baptism in the Black Forest and Alfred 
Stevens' La Bete au Bon Dieu are triumphs in their 
way. His original etchings include a number of 
well-known profiles in dry-point. 

When the Etching Club was founded, Willem 
Witsen, born in i860, at once established his repu- 
tation as a great etcher by his series of open-air 
figures in the manner of Millet or Mauve. And, 
in spite of his water-colours and oil-paintings — his 
London bridges, his Millet figures standing out 
distinctly marked against the evening sky, his cha- 
racteristic old Amsterdam houses — Witsen, like Bauer, 
is an etcher first and foremost and builds up his 
paintings and especially his water-colour drawings from 
subjects seen with an etcher's eye, with the same 



The Amsterdam Reaction 183 

firm hand, the same preference for the massy, the 
same distaste for detail, the same powerful line and 
the same pure sense of values. Nevertheless, his 
pictures lack the compactness, the charming effects 
of light and shade which he succeeded in giving to 
his monumental London etchings produced between 
1888 and 1 89 1. 

Witsen also lapses occasionally, as a painter, into 
the style in which the last word has been spoken 
by Breitner and this is not the style in which one 
would prefer to see him work; but I am inclined 
to think that this will prove to belong to a tran- 
sition-period, for a man who has been able to produce 
such master- pieces as the London etchings and water- 
colours must needs have at his beck both ideas and 
powers which he will set forth for our admiration in 
his own good time. 



CHAPTER XII. 
THE NEW FORMULA 

Johannes Theodoor (commonly known as Jan) 
Toorop as bom in i860 at Poerweredjo in Java 
and was the first to bring from France to Holland, 
via Brussels, the so-called Neo-impressionism of the 
" Vingtistes. " Although in Amsterdam he belonged to 
the generation described in the preceding chapter, 
he received his real education amid the great move- 
ment of the young Belgians and may be said 
to have introduced a new phase into Dutch art. 
In 1889, he arranged, at the Amsterdam panorama 
an exhibition of the XX, in which he showed his 
Broek in Waterhnd and his Twylight Idyll, two 
pieces painted in broken colour under the Vingtiste 
influence. The exhibition contained much that was 
interesting and much that was beautiful, but failed 
to make any general impression. 

Whatever Toorop may have produced before this 
exhibition — and he had already made himself known 
by some drawings of London poverty of astonishing 
realism — it is certain that his work now struck 
out an absolutely new line and presented a new 




ELSJE — J. TH. TOOROP 
(The property of Mr. B. Ltikwcl, Jr., Rotterdam) 




o ^ 
p ^ 



The New Formula 185 

aspect of Dutch meadows, of the North-Sea coast 
and of the motives to be found in the Hves of the 
fisher-folk. This was brought out in his Broek in 
Water land, a picture in which the sober lines of a 
North-Holland pastureland were approached for the 
first time, intersected with rectilinear ditches, broken 
only by a few stumpy pollard-willows. It is a view 
entirely without artificial embellishment, without any 
search for the harmonious in those fields, where the 
setting sun filled the ditches with orange light, 
clashing crudely with the dark green of the meadows 
and the pale sky. There was no question here of 
beauty or ugliness : it was the brutal reality, power- 
fully grasped and strongly expressed. 

This picture owed its origin to a trip to North 
Holland taken while Toorop was living in Brussels 
with the Belgian poet 6mile Verhaeren. It was 
only when seen in this way, as it were with a foreign 
eye, that the sheer plainness of these meadows and 
ditches could have been observed and rendered in 
so ruthless and literal a fashion. 

The Wave, the most important work of the first 
portion of Toorop's residence at Katwijk, is a won- 
derfully clever and elaborate analysis of the sea, 
a very feast of movement and colour, a mosaic of 
variegated tints, with the blue of the sky reflected 
in the bottle-green wave, the yellow of the fishermen's 
oilskins, the endless facets of the rippling waters. 
This work, although not painted in broken colour, 
already shows a tendency towards a more decorative 
style of composition. 

A third important picture was Melancholy, repre- 
sented by the figure of a woman of Katwijk-Binnen 



1 86 The New Formula 

leaning against the doorpost of her house, with 
quiet eyes set in a pale oval, a slender little figure 
and narrow sleeves, appearing medisevally small 
against the breadth of the endless extent of her petti- 
coats. She stares into the twilight ; round her is the 
little garden with sunflowers and low railings, which 
look strange in the failing light. The predominant tone 
of the picture is the dark blue of her apron. To 
my mind, this Melancholy, so distinguished in its 
conception, so suggestive in its mood, is Toorop*s 
most interesting work in this direction. Later, his 
ideas became much more intrcate and metaphysical ; 
but in no other work have idea and form,or rather 
mood and form been more perfectly blended and 
the result charms at the same time both the eye 
and the mind. 

Thanks to an unusually complex ancestry, Toorop 
inherited the characteristics of the native East-Indian, 
the Norseman and the Hollander. Richard Muther, 
after describing the curious impression which Toorop*s 
work made upon the Viennese public, goes on to 
prophesy that at some future time he will be known 
as the Giotto of his day. I do not greatly care 
to anticipate the verdict of posterity and prefer to 
say that Giotto, the shepherd, who evolved his first 
vision of life with charcoal on the walls of the 
sheepcote, transferred the art of painting from the 
hierarchical forms of the Byzantines to the living 
being, whereas Toorop, in depicting nature, makes 
his human beings the exponents of his ideas. But 
what Toorop has indeed succeeded in expressing, 
at an earlier period and to a greater extent than 
our literature — and this, no doubt, is what Dr. Muther 



The New Formula 187 

meant by his comparison — is the scepticism of our 
time, the decline of established religious belief, the 
search after new dogmas. 

His mystic symbolism is popular in the best sense 
of the word. In his Three Brides^ he represents the 
three aspects of womanhood, personifies the senses 
of sound and smell : the characteristics of the three 
women clash against one another in round and 
angular lines; sound is indicated by threads in a 
linear design resembling that of a great orchestra, 
richly and magnificently filled. Now sound had 
already been personified by Blake; and good and 
evil in Gothic art and even earlier. But the 
difference in Toorop lies in the obvious strength 
of his technique, a rare gift, which enables him 
almost to represent, set down and fix the abstract, 
daintily and delicately in his portraits of children, 
powerfully and nervously in his symbolic and robustly 
in his realistic works. 

The work of Vincent van Gogh fell like a meteor 
into the plains of our national art in the winter of 
1892, two years after the painter's death. A meteor 
in very truth! Here was no question of gradual, 
technical, artistic development, that had been followed 
out year by year. That which first greeted our eyes 
was the most passionate, desperate and impulsive 
work, the technical part of which, cis it then appeared, 
before time had matured it, seemed beyond the 
power of the painter's art. It was the evidence of 
the artist's struggle with his medium, of his struggle 
with nature; it was the act of despair of a fanatic; 
it was the revelation of a visionary. 



1 88 The New Formula 

It was no easy matter for work like that of 
Van Gogh to find acceptance in an artistic environ- 
ment such as ours» based upon a culture which 
we owe to the seventeenth century. The pictures 
selected for exhibition out of the plenitude which he 
had left behind him, unframed for the most part, 
unbridled utterances of artistic passion, swept over the 
white peace of our artistic effort like a seething lava, 
bubbhng up from depths which only a few were 
able to understand or to admire. 

Van Gogh's work represents not so much a creed 
as a man-to-man struggle; his colour is not the 
result of a well thought-out scheme, but is an effort 
rather to grasp the light, to hold it fast, to suggest 
colour in light without the use of brown or bitumen. 
And, as it was his chief object to render life, to express 
what he saw rather than to produce an harmonious 
painting, he strove to fling his impressions, as it 
were, upon his canvas in one breath; for, as he 
wrote, ^'faire et refaire un sujet sur la meme toile 
ou sur plusieurs toiles revient en somme au mime 
serieux. " And his painting and drawing alike revealed 
the same minghng of conscious and imconscious 
knowledge. 

Van Gogh was a born fanatic, a reformer and 
prophet preaching in the streets of London, an 
idealist travelHng to the mines in the Borinage to 
carry to the slaves of the mine the gospel which 
Jesus once carried to the poor fishermen of the Sea 
of Galilee, a man in the full sense of the word, 
endowed with the temperament of a fanatic, in whom 
the balance is never at rest, a prophet by virtue of 
his belief in his own powers, a prophet also in the 



OF THE ^K 

UNIVERSITY 

OF ^ 



The New Formula 189 

artistic sense through his belief in life and colour, 
a zealot in so far as he endeavoured to propagate 
the theories of the " Luministes " with all the force that 
fanaticism lends; but he had not the nature which 
can long endure a doubt as to its powers. And, 
notwithstanding the many moments of happiness 
which he owed to his art, despite the fact that the 
inspired hours in his short life as a painter were 
almost uninterrupted and leaving his more rustic 
Dutch period out of the question, he does in a 
way suggest the painter in the Japanese cartoon, who 
lies felled to the ground by his own work. His 
imaginative drawings and landscapes were the night- 
mares of a man who was bound to perish in the 
greatness of his own longings ; they were nightmares 
of light and colour, flooded with the full glare of 
glistening sunlight, glittering with transparent greens, 
with sulphurous yellows, with startling violets ; sultry 
atmospheric effects, more alarming at times than 
the visions of an Odilon Redon. 

Many roads lead to Rome, Art is not bound 
to a few stated formulas; and the only question is 
whether Van Gogh, in a given subject, has expressed 
what he desired. This no one will deny. And, 
whether we see him move amid more attractive 
surroundings, such as summery parks, avenues of 
chestnut-trees in bloom, where the sun casts motley 
patches upon the ground and upon children at play, 
or the olive-groves of the South, " where the sun 
burns into the^ ground like sulphur ; " whether 
he paints those glowing portraits or those works 
which we call the illustrations for Zola's novels: this 
much is certain that, in every case, he largely 



I90 The New Formula 

enriches our sphere of thought and our perceptive 
faculties. 

And his flower-studies too ! Who, in our country, 
has ever painted flowers as he did, so true to nature, 
so real, so actually lifelike? 

" Vincent's flowers look like people, " said Pissarro. 

And Emile Bernard said: 

" Vincent's flowers look like princesses. " 

To us they are real flowers in their distinction, 
their form, their bloom, their colour, simple and 
broad, just as they blossom in a Whitsim meadow 
before a child's delighted eyes. 

Vincent van Gogh was born in 1853 at Groot 
Zundert, in North Brabant. He Wcis the son of a 
clergymzm and was brought up to be a dealer in 
works of art, in which trade his uncle Vincent was 
of such great assistance to the younger Dutchmen, 
first at the Hague and afterwards in the firm of 
Goupil in Paris. His brother too, Theodoor van 
Gogh, who was also at Goupil's, afterwards helped 
the artists of Vincent's movement to the best of his 
power. After Vincent had worked for some time 
at Goupil's at the Hague, in London and Paris, he 
grew dissatisfied and left the business, in 1876, in 
order to go to London as a teacher. He returned to 
Holland, worked for a short time for a bookseller 
at Dordrecht and then went to Amsterdam to 
prepare for his theological studies. Here again he 
found the road too long: he threw up the univer- 
sity and went to Brussels and, thence, to the Borinage, 
to become a gospel-preacher among the miners. 
This environment influenced him more than any 
other: at any rate, it made him take to drawing. 



k-.f^':y 




THE CYPRESSES — V. VAN GOGH 
{The property of Mr. J. Cohen Gosschalk, Bussiini) 



The New Formula 191 

It is true that, in a letter from London, he had 
sent home a couple of rather childish, yet well- 
observed little drawings, but these could hardly give 
an inkling of his talent and, moreover, they stood 
cdone, for, as a child, Vincent, although scribbling 
and even modelling, Hke most children, had shown no 
particular inclination for drawing and his relations 
were not aware that, before his visit to London, 
he had ever produced anything worth mentioning. 
This is also apparent from the excitement displayed 
by Theo, who, delighted at hearing that Vincent 
was sketching in the Borinage, exclaimed: 

" Now you shall see something ! Vincent has taken 
to drawing: that means a second Rembrandt!" 

No sooner had he begun to draw than he sud- 
denly left for Brussels, where he worked zealously 
at draughtsmanship. But he did not stay long, for, 
in 1 88 1, he returned to his father's house at Etten 
and, towards the end of that year, went to the 
Hague, where he received occasional advice from 
Mauve. He worked at the Hague until the summer 
of 1883 and, after a stay in Drente, went back to 
his parents, who were now living at Nuenen. In 
1885, he went to Antwerp, spent a few months at 
the academy and, in the spring of 1886, arrived in 
Paris, where he was strongly influenced by the 
movement of Monet, Pissarro and Gauguin and himself 
exercised an influence upon that movement. He 
next left for the South, went to Aries, later to San 
R6my and, lastly, to Anvers-sur-Oise, where he died 
in the summer of 1890. 

After his death, his friend 6mile Bernard published, 
in the Mercure de France, a number of letters ad- 



192 The New Formula 

dressed to him by Vincent and, later, some fragments 
of letters to his brother Theo van Gogh, which were 
supplied by the latter's widow. These letters, con- 
tinued in a Flemish monthly. Van Nu en Straks — 
although we know only fragments in which he 
writes of his work and art (how long must we wait 
before the letters are published in full?) — give us 
an insight into Theo's devotion for his brother, 
which made him hold the trade of a dealer in works 
of art as sacred as a religious belief and made him 
suffer perhaps even more than Vincent himself at 
the delay in the acknowledgment of the new artistic 
formula. And they reveal all Vincent's theories and 
ideals, his goodness, his moods, variable as the 
mercury in a thermometer, his personality as a man 
and an artist, young, gay, unsuspecting, indefatigable : 
untiring, too, in spite of his lack of physical strength. 
At early as 1882, he wrote: 

"My hands have become rather too white for 
my taste. People like myself have no right to be ill. " 

Most of the letters date from the last period, 
especially at Aries, the period of the longing to see 
and grasp all things. They are letters in which, 
between the cries of despair, gleam his indestructible 
ideals, hesitations, confessions, shrill contrasts, woven 
on the golden threads of his dreams, on the golden 
threads of his love for his brother Theo. Full of this 
admiring love, he writes that Theo is as great a 
painter, as great an artist through his selling of 
pictures, because, by each sale, he enables the artist 
to produce more pictures: 



The New Formula 193 

" St un peintre se mine le caract^re en travail/ant 
dur a la peinturey qui le rend sterile pour bien d'autres 
choses (vie de famille etc.), si cons^quemment il peint 
non seulement avec de la couleur, mais avec de I' ab- 
negation et du renoncement de soi et le coeur brise^ ton 
travail a toi non seulement ne t'est pas payd non plus^ 
mais te coute exactement comme a ce peintre I'effacement 
de ta personalitdy moitie volontairementy moitie' for- 
tuitement. Ceci pour te dire que, si tu fais de la pein- 
ture indirectementy tu es plus productif que par ex- 
emple, moi." 

Or again — and what artist endeavouring to make 
his own way has not a hundred times exclaimed the 
same? — he cries: 

" Si I' on peignait comme Bouguerau, alors on pour- 
rait espdrer de gagnerf" 

Great regret was felt among, his friends at his death : 
"He felt everything, ce pauvre Vincent y he felt too 
much, " said old Tanguy, the simple artists' colour- 
man, the friend of all young painters and of Vincent 
too, who was always ready to accept pictures or 
studies instead of payment for his colours. And he 
was right: Vincent van Gogh felt too intensely to 
endure passively the greatness of nature, too deeply 
to work without hurrying, without swerving and with 
that composure which characterizes the majority of 
Dutchmen. Judge Vincent's work as we may, one 
thing is certain, that he, in whom perhaps more 
than in any other of our painters bubbled the pas- 
sionate life of the last end of the century, afforded 

13 



194 The New Formula 

in his work the last great sensation which the art 
of the nineteenth century was to present to the 
Netherlands. 

In 1 89 1, the Hague Art Club was founded, in 
which Toorop and Vincent van Gogh were honoured 
as masters. Their followers included Thorn Prikker, 
born at the Hague in 1869, the painter who practised 
symbolism for a short time and who exhibited his 
dignified Heads of the Apostles at one of the club's 
shows, but who subsequently devoted himself exclu- 
sively to the applied arts. 

Another exhibitor was Pieter Cornelis de Moor, 
born at Rotterdam in 1 866, a pupil of Jan Striening, 
of the Antwerp Academy and of Benjamin Constant, 
whose Htde flower-decked Bride showed great promise 
at the time. He afterwards followed the modem 
French draughtsmen, to a certain extent, in his choice 
of subjects, but continued his method of symbolic 
treatment. He has often succeeded in showing what 
symbolists exactly desire to express, as for example 
in his Princesse de Lamballe. 

Then there was Theodoor van Hoytema, born 
at Rotterdam in 1870, the facile draughtsman of 
ornithological subjects, which he introduced as illus- 
trations in coloured picture-books with a great feeling 
for design and effect and afterwards lithographed with 
style and taste. 

Paul Rink (i 862-1 903) exhibited here: he, like 
Toorop, began by employing the colour-arrangement 
of the Belgians and brought back a number of bright 
and pretty studies and pictures from Tangiers, 
painted in this manner; he afterwards executed the 
mural decorations of the Hague Art Club, but made 



The New Formula 195 

his name more generally known by his coloured 
sketches of Volendam types, often too fluently painted. 
And I must also mention Edgard Willem Koning, 
bom in 1869, who, with his Nurses and Children, 
was the first to show that a mural painting can be 
taken straight from life. 

Simon Moulijn, bom at Rotterdam in 1866, is 
one of those modern younger men who, like Thorn 
Prikker and, in certain respect, Hoytema, arriving 
early at a crisis, learn to think sooner than to paint, 
one of those who are influenced by many move- 
ments before they have acquired positive knowledge. 
The first conscious influence was imparted by the 
modem Frenchmen and especially by Toorop and 
Vincent van Gogh. Moulijn too wished to play his 
part in the new art which was to give so much that 
was beautiful to the end of the century, but which, 
at that time, as the painter himself admits, gave 
rise to anomalous work. His first attempts at paint- 
ing were attempts and nothing more; and, although 
he is now busy mastering the difficulties of the craft, 
he is of significance to us only as the lithographer, 
the draughtsman of peaceful little spots of nature, 
little hidden homesteads, which he represents in a 
refined and contemplative mood. 

I must not omit the name of Henri van Daalhoff, 
born at Leiden in 1867, the painter of stories and 
fairy-tales. He is a sensitive,but not a powerful artist 
and is likely to make himself eventually a permanent 
reputation as an illustrator. 



196 The New Formula 

In that branch of landscape-painting in which form 
and Unes were sought after not so much for the 
sake of mood or emotion as for their own sake, 
in that search for purity which the increasing ad- 
miration for it had aroused, I must first mention 
Maurits Willem van der Valk, bom in Amsterdam 
in 1857, the amiable theorist who, at an early date, 
cherished the desire to make of a water-colour a 
pure water-colour, of an etching an etching, light 
and transparent, and nothing more. He learnt to 
see the lines in a landscape at Anvers-sur-Oise ; 
adapted his knowledge to Dutch scenery; and, 
with something almost Japanese in his arrangement 
of mass and line, now seeks colour in flat tones. 

To his group belongs Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig, born 
in Amsterdam in 1866, a pupil of Alleb6's, who 
began by painting in the style of Neuhuijs. When he 
saw the tulip-fields at Bennebroek in all their luminous 
beauty of colour, he came to the conviction that 
colour should be rendered more as colour and light 
as light; and thus, as if of his own initiative, he 
arrived at the discovery which the great Frenchmen 
and Vincent and Toorop had made before him, a 
discovery which is of scientific origin, namely the 
juxtaposition of unmixed colours in small propor- 
tions, without the intervening medium of brown or 
ochre, so that light becomes lighter and both light 
and shade more full of colour. Hart Nibbrig, who 
is especially to be praised for the honesty with 
which he sets down fields of grass and corn and 
buckwheat under a blazing sun, lacks something 
of the passion and enthusiasm necessary to make so 




A WILLOW TREE — M. W. VAN DER VALK 
[In the possession of the Artist at Scherpenzccl) 



The New Formula 197 

systematic a proceeding express all his feelings. 
The result is that, clever and consistent as his work 
may be, it does not wholly reach the spectator. 

More harmonious is the work of Derk Wiggers, 
bom at Amersfoort in 1866, the painter who, above 
all, sought for purity of form in the more broken 
and undulating Guelder landscape. His is an import- 
ant and distinguished linear scheme, which he occas- 
ionally exaggerates, perhaps, but by means of which 
he succeeds in rendering a few divine moments of 
nature. Such are The Little Church at Heelsum, 
Bentheim Castle and other panoramic drawings, in 
which the cool twilight sky hangs tense behind the 
hilly landscape. 

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the 
attention of many of these younger men was diverted 
in the direction of the applied arts, which some of 
them have enriched with exceedingly important works. 
I will mention only Carel Lion Cachet, bom in 1864, 
and Theodoor Nieuwenhuis, born in 1866, who do 
not come within the scope of this book, and Gerrit 
Willem Dijsselhoff, born at ZwoUerskappel in 1866, 
who was the first in our country to achieve something 
exceedingly beautiful on a basis of East-Indian art. 
He is the only one who has produced decorative 
water-colour drawings that were not epicene because, 
in the colour — that of the sarongs of the native states 
of Java — a shrill and spontaneous blue, and on a 
ground of fine yellow, he has succeeded in introducing 
in the most decorative fashion all manner of small 
animals: silvery sticklebacks, drawn in a masterly 



198 The New Formula 

way, Mediterranean crayfish, with their curious forms, 
or the motley sea-anemones, all worked up into 
a decorative, self-contained and absolutely harmo- 
nious whole. 

In quite recent years, our young painters have 
been once more attracted by Paris, especially by 
that great draughtsman Steinlen, and also, though 
in a lesser degree, by the modern English and 
German illustrators. But these, the latest artists of 
all, belong entirely to the present century and not 
to that which forms the subject of this volume. 



THE END 



INDEX OF PAINTERS 



Page 

Abrahams, Anna Adelaide 163 

Akkeringa, Johannes Evert 162 

AUebe, Auguste 79 

Abna Tadema, Sir Lawrence, O. M., R. A 129 

Apol, Lodewijk Frederik Hendrik (Louis) 144 

Artz, David Adolphe Constant 135 

Bakker Korff, Alexander Hugo 75 

Barbiers Pz., Pieter 56 

Bastert, Nicolaas 146 

Bauer, Mari Alexander Jacques 165 

Bauer, Nicolaas 55 

Bauffe, Victor 123 

Berg, Simon van den 59 

Beveren, Charles van 39 

Bilders, Albert Gerard • 83 

Bilders, Johannes Wamardus 69 

Bilders- Van Bosse, Maria Philippine 142 

Bisschop, Christoffel 137 

Bisschop, Richard 144 

Bisschop-Robertson, Suze 154 

Bisschop-Swift, Kate 139 

Bles, David, Joseph "ji 

Bloeme, Hermanns Anthonie de 41 

Blommers, Bemardus Johannes 134 

Bock, Theophile de 144 

Bodenheim, Johanna Cornelia Hermana (Nelly) 173 

Boer, Otto de 38 

Boks, Marinus 144 

Borselen, Jan Willem van • ... 60 

Bosboom, Johannes 91 

Breitner, George Hendrick 151 

Bru^hen, Gviillaume Anne van der 59 

Burgers, Hein 136 



200 Index of Painters 

Page 

Cachet, Carel Lion 197 

Gate, Hendrik Gerrit ten 54 

Cats, Jacob • 3 

Cool, Thomas Simon 33 

Craeyvanger, Gijsbertus 83 

Daalhoff, Henri van 195 

Daiwaille, Jean Augustin 16 

Derkinderen, Antonius Johannes 176 

Deventer, Jan Frederik van 60 

Deventer, Willem Anthonie van 60 

Dijsselhoflf, Gerrit Willem 197 

Egenberger, Johannes Hinderikus 40 

Ehnle, Adrianus Johannes 22 

Gabriel, Paul Jozeph Constantin 123 

Gogh, Vincent van 186 

Greive, Petrus Franciscus 67 

Greive Jr., Johan Conrad 68 

Haas, Johannes Hubertus Leonardos de 141 

Hanedoes, Louwrens • 83 

Haverman, Hendrik Johan 174 

Hendriks, Wybrandt . 56 

Henkes, Gerke 141 

Heymans, J , 60 

Hodges, Charles Howard 6 

Hoppenbrouwers, Johannes Franciscus 144 

Hove, Bartholomeus Johannes van 65 

Hove, Hubertus van 66 

Hoytema, Theodoor van 194 

Hulswit, Jan 54 

Immerzeel, Christiaan 60 

Israels, Isaac 156 

Israels, Jozef • 94 

Jamin, Diederik Franciscus, 68 

Jelgerhuis, Rienk 5 

Jelgerhuis Rienkz., Johannes 56 

Jongkind, Johan Barthold 125 

Jonxis, Jan Lodewijk 69 

Josselin de Jone, Pieter de 149 

Kaemmerer, Frederic Henri 128 

Kamerlingh Onnes, Menso 165 

Karsen, Eduard no 

Karssen, Kasparus 54 

Kate, Herman Frederik Karel 78 



Index of Painters 201 

Page 

Kate, Johan Man ten 78 

Kever, Jacobus Simon Hendrik 147 

Kiers, Petrus 143 

Klinkenberg, Johannes Christiaan Karel 145 

Knip, Josephus Augustus 142 

Kobell, Jan 51 

Koekkoek, Johannes Hermanus 69 

Koekkoek, Barend Cornells 68 

Koelman, Jan Daniel 24 

Koelman, Jan Hendrik • 24 

Koelman, Johan Philip 24 

Koning, Edgard Willem 195 

Kooi, Willem Bartel van der 55 

Koster, Everardus 66 

Krausz, Simon Andries 59 

Kruseman, Comelis 17 

Kruseman, Jan Adam 22 

Laar, Jan Hendrik van de 37 

Laen, Dirk Jan van der 50 

Laqui, Willem Joseph 4 

Leickert, Charles Henri Joseph 63 

Lelie, Adriaan de 57 

Leon, Maurits 67 

Lindo, Harriet 143 

Looy, Jacobus van 178 

Maarel, Marius van der 162 

Maaten, Jacob Jan van der 60 

Maris, Jacobus Hendrikus . . • 103 

Maris, Matthijs 109 

Maris, Willem 115 

Mauve, Anton 117 

Meer, Eduard Alphonse Victor Auguste van der 142 

Meiners, Pieter 181 

Mesdag, Hendrik Willem 121 

Mesdag-Van Houten, Sientje 142 

Meulemans, Adriaan ..!..... 61 

Meulen, Francois Pieter ter 119 

Meijer, Johan Hendrik Louis 61 

Meijer, Hendrik 3 

Moor, Pieter Comelis de 194 

Moulijn, Simon 195 

Nakken, Willem Carel , . . . 141 

Neuhuijs, Albert 133 



202 Index of Painters 

Page 

Neuhuijs, Jozef Hendrikus 141 

Nibbrig, Ferdinand Hart 196 

Nieuwenhuis, Theodoor 196 

Nuyen, Wijnand Jan Joseph 63 

Offermans, Tony Lodewijk George 147 

Os, Georgius Jacobus Johannes van 58 

Os, Jan van 58 

Os, Maria Margaritha van 58 

Os, Pieter Frederik van 59 

Os, Pieter Gerhardus van 58 

Oyens, David 127 

Oyens, Pieter 127 

Pieneman, Jan Willem 10 

Pieneman, Nicolaas 14 

Poggenbeek, George 145 

Poorter, Bastiaan de 22 

Portman, Christiaan Julius Lodewijk 68 

Quinckhard, Jan Maurits i 

Quinckhard, JuUus 57 

Ravenzwaay, Jan van 59 

Rink, Paul 194 

Rochussen, Charles 140 

Roelofs, Willem 103 

Ronner-Knip, Henrietta 142 

Rossum Duchattel, Fredericus Jacobus van 146 

Roth, George Andries 54 

Sadee, Philip 141 

Salberg, Frederik 164 

Sande Bakhuijzen, Gerardina Jacoba van de 143 

Sande Bakhuijzen, Hendrik van de 59 

Sande Bakhuijzen, Julius Jacobus van de 141 

Scheeres, Hendricus Johannes . • 67 

Scheffer, Ary 2'] 

SchefFer, Henri 32 

SchefFer, Jan Baptist 27 

Schelfhout, Andreas ! 62 

Schendel, Petrus van 37 

Schmidt, Willem Hendrik 35 

Scholten, Hendrik Jacobus 68 

Schotel, Petrus Johannes 61 

Schotel, Johannes Christianus 60 

Schouman, Aart 4 

Schouman, Martinus 60 



Index of Painters 203 

Page 

Schwartze, Johan George 43 

Schwartze, Therese 148 

Slager, P. M I49 

Spoel, Jacob • 3^ 

StefFens, Louise Eugenie 173 

Sterk, Elink 22 

Storm van 's-Gravesande, Jonkheer Carel Nicolaas . . , .182 

Stortenbeker, Pieter 141 

Stroebel, Johannes Anthonie Balthazar 107 

Strij, Jacob van 49 

Tholen, Willem Bastiaan • .... 158 

Thorn Prikker, Johan 194 

Tischbein, Johann Friedrich August • 6 

Tom, Jan Bedijs 63 

Toorop, Johannes Theodoor (Jan) 184 

Troost, Cornelis 2 

Troostwijk, Wouter Joannes van 52 

Valk, Maurits Willem van der 196 

Valkenburg, Hendrik 137 

Velden, Paulus van der 141 

Verschuur, Wouterus 119 

Verster, Floris Henric 164 

Verveer, Elchanon 140 

Verveer, Samuel Leonardus 66 

Veth, Jan Pieter 170 

Vintcent, Lodewijk Anthony 34 

Voerman, Jan 179 

Vogel, Johannes Gijsbert 143 

Vogel-Roosenboom, Margaretha Cornelia Johanna Wilhelmina. 143 

Vos, Maria 143 

Vrolijk, Johannes Martinus 143 

Waldorp, Antonie • . . 64 

Wall, Willem Rutgaart van der 51 

Weissenbruch, Hendrik Johannes (Jan) 123 

Westenberg, George Pieter 54 

Wiggers, Derk 196 

Wit, Jacob de i 

Witsen, Salomon van 166 

Witsen, Willem 182 

Wijnveld Jr., Bernardus , 40 

Zilcken, Philippe 182 

Zwart, Willem de 160 



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